Amylin, a 37 amino acid polypeptide, has been suggested to play a prominent role in the pathogenesis of insulin resistance in type II diabetes mellitus. Various studies have demonstrated most recently that amylin is cosecreted with insulin. No data are available on the elimination of amylin from the circulation. We therefore tested plasma levels of amylin, insulin and C-peptide in 49 non-obese, non-diabetic patients (27 male/22 female) with various degree of renal impairment (Group A: CCr less than 20 ml/min, n = 20; Group B: CCr 20-89 ml/min, n = 18; and Group C: CCr greater than 80 ml/min, n = 9). We found a significant increase of plasma amylin when kidney function, expressed by creatinine clearance fell below 20 ml/min (17.9 +/- 1.7 vs. 12.2 +/- 0.8 vs. 8.8 +/- 1.2 pg/ml; p = 0.0005). Plasma amylin correlated closely with serum C-peptide (r = .764; p = 0.0001), and to a lesser extent with insulin (r = .595; p = 0.0001) underlining its postulated cosecretion with these peptides. The data indicate that amylin might be eliminated by renal mechanisms. Our data show that besides type II diabetes mellitus, advanced renal failure is another clinical situation with enhanced plasma amylin levels. Whether amylin plays any pathogenetic role in renal patients remains to be elucidated.