This study was designed to examine whether prostaglandin E2 can directly affect sodium transport across isolated perfused rabbit renal collecting tubules. Changes in transepithelial potential and isotopic sodium fluxes in response to peritubular prostaglandin E2 were measured. In addition, changes in transepithelial potential of the outer medullary collecting tubule in response to prostaglandin E2 were also measured. With few exceptions, all rabbits received 5 mg/day desoxycorticosterone acetate for 4-11 days before experimentation. The results of the experiments show that: (a) prostaglandin E2 inhibits the negative transepithelial potential in the cortical collecting tubule as well as the outer medullary collecting tubule; (b) prostaglandin E2 inhibits net sodium transport out of the lumen by inhibiting efflux while backflux is unaffected; (c) prostaglandin E2 produces this inhibition within 15 min, and the effects are dose dependent and reversible. These results suggest that prostaglandin E2 may modulate sodium transport in vivo and may contribute to the final regulation of sodium excretion.