Acute systolic arterial hypertension provokes a rapid decrease in proximal tubule sodium reabsorption and diuresis associated with inhibition of renal cortex Na,K-ATPase activity and redistribution of apical membrane Na/H exchanger (NHE-3) to heavier density membranes containing markers of intermicrovillar cleft and endosomes. Because cytochrome P-450-dependent arachidonate metabolites participate in the regulation of renal sodium transport and BP, this study tested the hypothesis that these renal responses to acute hypertension would be prevented if cytochrome P-450 metabolism were inhibited by cobalt chloride (CoCl2). Four groups of rats (n = 4 to 5) were studied (1) sham-operated; (2) 50 mg of CoCl2/kg subcutaneously for 2 d; (3) acute hypertension by constricting arteries for 5 min; and (4) acute hypertension after CoCl2 treatment as in group 3. Renal cortex was analyzed after sorbitol density gradient fractionation. CoCl2 treatment alone did not significantly affect the rate of urine output, endogenous lithium clearance (an inverse measure of proximal tubule sodium reabsorption), maximal activity of Na,K-ATPase, or subcellular distribution of NHE-3-containing membranes. In non-CoCl2-treated animals, acute hypertension provoked a three- to fourfold increase in urine output and endogenous lithium clearance, 33% inhibition of renal cortex Na,K-ATPase activity, and redistribution of NHE-3 out of the apical membrane peak. In CoCl2-treated animals, acute urine output and endogenous lithium clearance increased only twofold during acute hypertension, there was no inhibition of Na,K-ATPase activity, and there was no redistribution of NHE-3 immunoreactivity to higher density membranes. These findings demonstrate that CoCl2 treatment both attenuates the inhibition of proximal tubule sodium reabsorption and diuresis and abolishes Na,K-ATPase inhibition and NHE-3 redistribution during acute hypertension, evidence that these responses may be mediated by cytochrome P-450 arachidonate metabolites.