The purpose of this study was to characterize the renal response to central volume expansion using lower body positive pressure (LBPP) in the adult male squirrel monkey (Saimiri sciureus). Urinary excretion of sodium, potassium, and water and plasma aldosterone concentrations were measured during a control day, 7 days of LBPP, and a recovery day. Time control experiments in the same animals included chair sitting without exposure to LBPP. Seven monkeys (600-1,000 g) were trained to sit in a specially designed metabolism chair before chronic implantation of arterial and venous catheters to facilitate maintenance infusion of saline, monitoring of vascular pressures, and blood sampling; urine was collected via a condomlike tube. A cephalad shift in body fluid was induced by applying 20 mmHg of air pressure from the waist down. Urine volume and sodium excretion were increased significantly (28 to 52 ml/day and 0.4 to 3.5 meq/day, respectively) during the initial 24 h of LBPP with most of this response occurring in the first 6-12 h. From the 2nd to the 7th day of LBPP, urinary excretion rates for sodium and water were not different from chair-sitting controls. Water and sodium balance significantly decreased from +15 to -12 ml/day and from +1.1 to -2.2 meq/day, respectively, from the control to the first day of LBPP. This change in balance was not observed in the time-control group. Removal of the stimulus resulted in a modest conservation of sodium and water. The renal responses were not associated with any changes in plasma aldosterone levels. We conclude that chronic exposure to LBPP results in an acute diuretic and natriuretic response independent of changes in plasma aldosterone concentrations and produces a chronic reduction in fluid volume lasting the duration of the stimulus.