We studied the isolated blood-free perfused nonclipped kidneys from the 2-kidney Goldblatt hypertensive rat model (GHR) to evaluate intrinsic excretory responses to changes in perfusion pressure. We examined kidneys from 10 control rats (in vivo systolic BP 110 ± 3.6 mm Hg), from 9 rats with nonmalignant hypertension (HBP) (in vivo systolic BP 183 ± 6.4 mm Hg). We found that at all levels of perfusion pressure, the renal vascular resistances were significantly higher and glomerular filtration rate (GFR) lower in kidneys from hypertensive rats than in kidneys from control rats. Kidneys from hypertensive rats had lower urinary excretion of sodium (U(Na)V) and urine flow than kidneys from control rats at all levels of pressure above 100 mm Hg. The most striking differences in all functional parameters were noted in kidneys from rats with malignant HBP. Kidneys from both hypertensive and control rats failed to show changes in vascular resistance in response to Saralasin. We conclude that the nonclipped kidney in GHR exhibits a blunted natriuresis in response to elevated perfusion pressure which occurs in the absence of angiotensin II (AII) and renin substrate. This diminished pressure natriuresis may be caused partly by the lower GFR and by reduced pressure transmission due to greater renal vascular resistance and thus may be partially responsible for the maintenance of the hypertensive state.