The degree of water transport via aquaporin-2 (AQP2) water channels in renal collecting duct principal cells is reflected by the level of the urinary excretion of AQP2 (u-AQP2). In rats, the AQP2 expression varies with sodium intake. In humans, the effect of sodium intake on u-AQP2 and the underlying mechanisms have not previously been studied. We measured the effect of 4 days of high sodium (HS) intake (300 mmol sodium/day; 17.5 g salt/day) and 4 days of low sodium (LS) intake (30 mmol sodium/day; 1.8 g salt/day) on u-AQP2, fractional sodium excretion (FE(Na)), free water clearance (C(H2O)), urinary excretion of PGE(2) (u-PGE(2)) and cAMP (u-cAMP), and plasma concentrations of vasopressin (AVP), renin (PRC), ANG II, aldosterone (Aldo), atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP), and brain natriuretic peptide (BNP) in a randomized, crossover study of 21 healthy subjects, during 24-h urine collection and after hypertonic saline infusion. The 24-h urinary sodium excretion was significantly higher during HS intake (213 vs. 41 mmol/24 h). ANP and BNP were significantly lower and PRC, ANG II, and Aldo were significantly higher during LS intake. AVP, u-cAMP, and u-PGE(2) were similar during HS and LS intake, but u-AQP2 was significantly higher during HS intake. The increases in AVP and u-AQP2 in response to hypertonic saline infusion were similar during HS and LS intake. In conclusion, u-AQP2 was increased during HS intake, indicating that water transport via AQP2 was increased. The effect was mediated by an unknown AVP-independent mechanism.