1. Interrelationships between the amount of water, solute concentrations in the hind-gut, plasma aldosterone concentrations, and the excretory cycle in the rabbit were studied as well as the effects of hormones generally implicated in electrolyte regulation.
2. It appeared that the levels of water, electrolytes and volatile fatty acids (VFA) in the large intestine varied cyclicly with the excretion pattern: during the soft-phase, water, sodium, chloride and VFA were absorbed and potassium secreted as in other mammals; during the hard-phase two opposite phenomena occurred: secretion in the ascendant colon and absorption in the rest of the colon. Absorption of water, Na, K, chloride and VFA was increased and by this means only material without nutritional value was lost.
3. Plasma levels of aldosterone showed a circadian rhythm parallel to hind-gut changes, i.e. the higher values were found during the hard-phase. Exogenous aldosterone enhanced secretive and absorptive processes, which occurred normally when hard faeces were elaborated.