Our previous studies demonstrated an increased reactive oxygen species (ROS) production, as well as transforming growth factor-beta1 (TGF-beta1) expression in the rat kidney with aging. In the present study, we examined the effect of aging on extracellular matrix (ECM) accumulation and the effects of treatment with angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (captopril and lisinopril) and taurine, an antioxidant amino acid. Age-related increases in types I and IV collagen and fibronectin mRNA expression were found at 24 and 30 mo of age. In contrast, type III collagen only increased in 30-mo-old rats. Captopril-, lisinopril-, and taurine-treated animals showed a statistically significant decrease in ECM protein expression at both ages. Moreover, treatment with taurine reduced the TGF-beta1 mRNA levels in 24- and 30-mo-old rats by 40%. Taurine also completely blocked increases in type I and type IV collagen expression in mesangial cells in response to TGF-beta1. Our results demonstrate a protective role from both converting enzyme inhibitors and taurine in the age-related progressive renal sclerosis. In addition, taking into account that taurine is considered as an antioxidant amino acid, present data suggest a role for ROS in age-related progressive renal fibrosis, perhaps through interactions with the TGF-beta1 pathway.