Systemic administration of acetazolamide (ACZ) causes glomerular filtration rate (GFR) to fall. Clearance and micropuncture experiments were done to define the mechanism of this drug effect. When rats were infused with ACZ intravenously, kidney GFR fell by 30% and single nephron (SN) GFR (measured by collecting distal tubule fluid) fell by 23%. Changes in arterial blood pressure, arterial pH, extracellular fluid volume, and proximal tubule pressure were not sufficient to account for the decrease in GFR. When SNGFR was measured by collecting proximal tubule fluid, with the loop of Henle having been blocked for 2-5 min, SNGFR was higher than the distally measured value and was not different than control. The results are consistent with the fall in GFR being caused by activation of the tubulo-glomerular feedback mechanism.