In previous experiments we have demonstrated that the renal nerves play a significant role in all genetic and (or) induced models of hypertension that we have studied. The current experiments extended this research by investigating the contribution of the renal nerves to hypertension in the Dahl NaCl-sensitive rat. This was investigated by assessing the effect of bilateral phenol renal denervation carried out prior to initiation of a high NaCl (8% NaCl) diet. In two separate studies, renal denervation did not affect systolic blood pressure in either Dahl NaCl-sensitive rats or their normotensive counterparts, Dahl NaCl-resistant rats. Further, denervation did not increase absolute urinary sodium excretion, percent urinary sodium excretion, urinary volume output, or food or water intake; nor did it differentially alter creatinine clearance or body weight. Denervation was verified at the termination of each study by a greater than 80% depletion of renal noradrenaline stores. These results indicate that the renal nerves do not provide a major contribution to hypertension in the Dahl NaCl-sensitive rat.