Arginine vasopressin (AVP) and serum osmolality (Sosm) were determined in plasma before and after a 24-h period of water deprivation in 19 patients with post-renal-transplant hypertension (group I), 14 patients with normal blood pressure after renal transplantation (group II), and 16 healthy control subjects (group III). Urine was collected in four periods of 6 h each for measurement of urine volume (V), urine osmolality (Uosm) and tubular capacity for reabsorption of water (Tc water). AVP and Sosm increased significantly in all groups. The AVP levels were the same in groups I and II, but higher in group I than III both before and after water deprivation. In group II, AVP was higher than in group III only after water deprivation; V was significantly reduced in all groups. In groups I and II, V, Tc water and Uosm were the same. In group III, V was significantly lower than in groups I and II in the last three 6-h periods, and in group III, Tc water was higher in the first 6-h period than in groups I and II. There was a significant positive correlation between AVP and Sosm in all groups. In conclusion, renal water excretion cannot be reduced as rapidly and to the same degree in renal transplant recipients as in control subjects because of a decreased renal capacity for reabsorption of water. The higher AVP level in the transplant recipients may be a compensatory phenomenon for the decreased responsiveness of the renal collecting ducts in the transplanted kidneys. The sensitivity of the osmoreceptors to changes in osmotic stimuli was normal.