Urinary excretion of prostaglandin E2 (PGE2 and F2 alpha (PGF2 alpha) and plasma concentration of arginine vasopressin (AVP) were determined during urinary concentrating and diluting tests in renal transplant recipients and control subjects. During the concentrating test PGE2 and PGF2 alpha remained unchanged in the renal transplant recipients, whereas both PGE2 and PGF2 alpha were significantly reduced in the control subjects. During the diluting test PGE2 and PGF2 alpha increased in both groups but, contrary to PGF2 alpha, PGE2 was significantly higher in all periods in the transplant recipients compared to the controls. However, the prostaglandin excretion rates per kidney were significantly higher in the renal transplant recipients than control subjects, for all periods during both the concentrating and the diluting test. Arginine vasopressin was significantly higher in renal transplant recipients than control subjects during basal conditions, increased to a significantly higher level in the transplant recipients after thirst, but was reduced to the same levels in the two groups during the diluting test. It is concluded that the increased excretion of prostaglandins in renal transplant recipients may be a compensatory phenomenon representing an adaptation to a reduced renal mass in order to maintain adequate renal water excretion. Although a direct relationship between the prostaglandin excretions of PGE2 and PGF2 alpha and AVP does not seem to exist, it is possible that the higher prostaglandin excretion in the renal transplant recipients may be a counterbalancing mechanism to the higher AVP level, which most likely is secondary to a decreased responsiveness to vasopressin of the renal collecting ducts in the transplanted kidney.