Streptozotocin (STZ)-diabetic rats regularly retained sodium (Na+), and tended to retain potassium (K+) as well, in response to insulin. Diabetic patients have also been reported to exhibit antinatriuresis and antikaliuresis early in the course of insulin therapy. Insulin-related Na+ retention can occur without a marked reduction in blood glucose level and does not appear to be attributable to preexisting Na+ depletion, mineralocorticoid effect, or suppression of glucosuria. The decrease in urinary Na+ excretion (UNaV) in the rats incident to insulin administration was appreciably greater than the decrease in chloride (Cl) or water excretion. The significance of this observation is uncertain. It may be, in part, a consequence of the nephrotoxicity of STZ. Insulin-related Na+ retention may be closely related pathogenetically to the Na+ retention of refeeding and may reflect a direct renal action of insulin or, less likely, an alteration of renal tubular metabolism in response to insulin-mediated changes in systemic metabolism.

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