1. The technique of chloride titration was employed in twenty dogs to determine the pattern of renal chloride handling in response to systematic increases in filtered chloride load. The influence of variations in sodium reabsorption on this pattern was also assessed by producing a wide spectrum of volume expansion during the titration protocols.
2. The results indicate that chloride reabsorption is proportional both to the rate of chloride filtration and to the rate of sodium reabsorption and, hence, that the specific pattern of each chloride titration curve is the fortuitous consequence of the interplay between these two factors.
3. The rate of chloride reabsorption relative to the simultaneous rate of sodium reabsorption was used as an index of the ability of the kidney to maintain chloride homeostasis and indicated that the kidney invariably tends to return depressed. plasma chloride concentration towards normal but, under the conditions of these acute experiments, consistently tends to reduce elevated plasma chloride concentration only when cation reabsorption is markedly depressed.
4. The present observations do not elucidate the mechanism responsible for these findings but suggest that plasma chloride concentration is not regulated through the operation of a threshold mechanism.