That the adaptation of the kidney to the acid-base status may be controlled by peptide hormones is considered. In the proximal tubule parathyroid hormone (PTH) inhibits reabsorption of both bicarbonate and phosphate. The former effect is compensated for by an increase in bicarbonate absorption in Henle's loop, and the latter effect serves to augment phosphate concentration in the distal tubular fluid, which stimulates proton secretion in collecting ducts, the net effect of PTH administration being an enhancement of urinary acidification. In the thick ascending limb, both antidiuretic hormone (ADH) and glucagon inhibit bicarbonate absorption. In distal and cortical collecting tubules ADH stimulates net bicarbonate absorption and glucagon net bicarbonate secretion, which results in stimulation and inhibition of final urine acidification, respectively. Acute acid loading stimulates endogenous PTH secretion, which, by enhancing urinary acidification, constitutes a homeostatic response of the parathyroid glands. The major effects of ADH on urinary acidification serve at least to counterbalance disturbing consequences on urinary ammonia excretion of physiological variations in the urinary flow rate. The physiological significance of the effects of glucagon is unclear at present. Thus other peptide hormones may add to PTH and corticosteroid hormones to modulate urinary acidification, which leads to the concept of a pluri-hormonal control of acid-base balance.