The presence of nitrotyrosine in the kidney has been associated with several pathological conditions. In the present study, we investigated nitrotyrosine formation in rat kidney after animals received endotoxin for 24 h. With lipopolysaccharide (LPS) treatment, immunohistochemical data demonstrated intense nitrotyrosine staining throughout the kidney. In spite of marked nitrotyrosine formation, the architectural appearance of tubules, glomeruli, and capillaries remained intact when examined by reticulin staining. Our data suggested that the marked staining of nitrotyrosine in proximal tubular epithelial cells was in the subapical compartment where the endocytic lysosomal apparatus is located. Thus a large portion of nitrotyrosine may come from the hydrolysis of nitrated proteins that are reabsorbed by the proximal tubule during the LPS treatment. We also found the colocalization of nitric oxide synthase (NOS-1) and nitrotyrosine within the macula densa of LPS-treated rats by using a double fluorescence staining method. In renal arterial vessels, vascular endothelial cells were more strongly stained for nitrotyrosine than vascular smooth muscle cells. Control animals without LPS treatment showed much less renal staining for nitrotyrosine. The general distribution of nitrotyrosine staining in control rat renal cortex is in the proximal and convoluted tubules, whereas the endothelial cells of vasa recta are major areas of nitrotyrosine staining in inner medulla. The renal distribution of nitrotyrosine in control and LPS-treated animals suggests that protein nitration may participate in renal regulation and injury in ways that are yet to be defined.