Acute arterial hypertension provokes a rapid decrease in proximal tubule (PT) Na+ reabsorption, increasing flow to the macula densa, the signal for tubuloglomerular feedback. We tested the hypothesis, in rats, that Na+ transport is decreased due to rapid redistribution of apical Na+/H+ exchangers and basolateral Na+ pumps to internal membranes. Arterial pressure was increased 50 mmHg by constricting various arteries. We also tested whether transporter internalization occurred when PT Na+ reabsorption was inhibited with the carbonic anhydrase inhibitor benzolamide. Five minutes after initiating either natriuretic stimuli, cortex was removed, and membranes were fractionated by density gradient centrifugation. Urine output and endogenous lithium clearance increased threefold in response to either stimuli. Acute hypertension provoked a redistribution of apical Na+/H+ exchanger NHE3, alkaline phosphatase, and dipeptidyl peptidase IV to higher density membranes enriched in the intracellular membrane markers. Basolateral membrane Na+-K+-adenosinetriphosphatase (Na+-K+-ATPase) activity decreased 50%, 25-30% of the a, and ßi-subunits redistributed to higher density membranes, and the remainder is attributed to decreased activity of the transporters. Benzolamide did not alter Na+ transporter activity or distribution, implying that decreasing apical Na+ uptake does not initiate redistribution or inhibition of basolateral Na+-K+-ATPase. We conclude that PT natriuresis provoked by acute arterial pressure is mediated by both endocytic removal of apical Na+/H+ exchangers and basolateral Na+ pumps as well as decreased total Na+ pump activity. Copyright © 1996 the American Physiological Society.