Recent evidence suggested that Na can be stored in an osmotically inactive form. We investigated whether osmotically inactive Na storage is reduced in a rat model of salt-sensitive (SS) hypertension. SS and salt-resistant (SR) Dahl-Rapp rats as well as Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats were fed a high (8%)- or low (0.1%)-NaCl diet for 4 wk (n = 10/group). Mean arterial pressure (MAP) was measured at the end of the experiment. Wet and dry weights, water content, total body Na (TBS), and bone Na content were measured by dessication and dry ashing. MAP was higher in both Dahl strains than in SD rats. In SS rats, 8% NaCl led to Na accumulation, water retention, and hypertension due to impaired renal Na excretion. There was no dietary-induced Na retention in SR and SD rats. TBS was variable; nevertheless, TBS was significantly correlated with body water and MAP in all strains. However, the extent of Na-associated volume and MAP increases was strain specific. Osmotically inactive Na in SD rats was threefold higher than in SS and SR rats. Both SS and SR Dahl rat strains displayed reduced osmotically inactive Na storage capacity compared with SD controls. A predisposition to fluid accumulation and high blood pressure results from this alteration. Additional factors, including impaired renal Na excretion, probably contribute to hypertension in SS rats. Our results draw attention to the role of osmotically inactive Na storage.