In the urinary bladder of the toad Bufo marinus aldosterone (between 0.8 and 100 nM) stimulates Na+ transport [half-maximal induction concentration (K1/2) = 6.5 nM]. At low hormone concentrations (0.8-8 nM), the increase of Na+ transport between 0.75 and 2.5 h is accompanied by a fall in transepithelial resistance (R). Higher hormone concentrations (30-800 nM) induce an additional resistance-independent fraction of Na+ transport within 2.5-8 h. From 6 h on, aldosterone (between 0.2 and 20 nM) stimulates in the same tissue the biosynthesis rate of the alpha- and beta-subunits of Na+-K+-ATPase (K1/2 = 3 and 1.5 nM, respectively). New pump synthesis is thus not a prerequisite for the early mineralocorticoid response but might be linked to the late transport event. The mineralocorticoid response is usually ascribed to interaction with the higher affinity type 1 receptor. In the present study we show, however, that at least 55% of the overall Na+ transport response is linked to nuclear occupation of the lower affinity type 2 receptors [dissociation constant (Kd) = 50 nM, maximum number of binding sites (Nmax) = 315 fmol/mg protein]. Distinct aldosterone effects, such as the fall in R and the increase in Na+-K+-ATPase synthesis, are more closely related to occupation of type 1 receptors (Kd = 0.3 nM, Nmax = 23 fmol/mg protein). At maximal induction of these latter parameters, only about 20% of type 2 receptors are occupied. These results suggest that both types of aldosterone receptors are involved in the mediation of the full mineralocorticoid response: type 1 in the early and late and type 2 particularly in the late tissue response.