Perinatal taurine exposure has long-term effects on the arterial pressure and renal function. This study tests its influence on renal potassium excretion in young adult, conscious rats. Female Sprague-Dawley rats were fed normal rat chow and given water alone (C), 3% beta-alanine in water (taurine depletion, TD) or 3% taurine in water (taurine supplementation, TS), either from conception until delivery (fetal period; TDF or TSF) or from delivery until weaning (lactation period; TDL or TSL). In Experiment 1, male offspring were fed normal rat chow and tap water, while in Experiment 2, beta-alanine and taurine were treated from conception until weaning and then female pups were fed normal rat chow and 5% glucose in drinking water (CG, TDG or TSG) or water alone (CW, TDW or TSW). At 7-8 weeks of age, renal potassium excretion was measured at rest and after an acute saline load (5% of body weight) in conscious, restrained rats. Although all male groups displayed similar renal potassium excretion, TSF rats slightly increased fractional potassium excretion at rest but not in response to saline load, whereas TDF did the opposite. Plasma potassium concentration was only slightly altered by the diet manipulations. In female offspring, none of the perinatal treatments significantly altered renal potassium excretion at rest or after saline load. High sugar intake slightly decreased potassium excretion at rest in TDG and TSG, but only the TDG group displayed a decreased response to saline load. The present data indicates that perinatal taurine exposure only mildly influences renal potassium excretion in adult male and female rats. © 2010 Roysommuti et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.