Nitric oxide (NO) is a very potent regulator of intrarenal hemodynamics and is thought to be an important factor in the deterioration of renal function. Several polymorphisms of the endothelial NO synthase (eNOS) gene have been reported. For instance, tandem 27-bp repeats in intron 4 of the eNOS gene are polymorphic, i.e. eNOS4a allele has 4 and eNOS4b has 5 tandem repeats, and the association between eNOS4a and myocardial infarction has been reported. In addition, a missense Glu298Asp mutation in exon 7 of the eNOS gene is reported to be a risk factor for hypertension or myocardial infarction. In this study, we investigated the frequencies of these 2 polymorphisms of eNOS gene in patients with end-stage renal diseases (ESRD), and compared them with those of healthy subjects. Genomic DNA was obtained from regularly hemodialyzed patients and healthy volunteers. The allele frequencies of eNOS4a and eNOS4b in intron 4 were analyzed by PCR and the missense Glu298Asp mutation in exon 7 were determined by PCR FMLP analysis. The allele frequency of eNOS4a (eNOS4a/b and eNOS4a/a) in non-diabetic group is significantly higher than that in healthy controls (27.3% vs. 19.0%, p = 0.01) though there is no significant difference between diabetic group and healthy controls. On the other hand, the frequencies of missense Glu298Asp mutation in both non-diabetic and diabetic groups are significantly higher than that in healthy controls (22.5% in non-diabetic, 20.8% in diabetic and 7.4% in control group, p = 0.002: non-diabetic vs. control, p = 0.01: diabetic vs. control). This study clarified that the polymorphisms in intron 4 and exon 7 of eNOS gene are the genetic risk factors for ESRD. The polymorphisms in intron may change the transcriptional activity and those in exon may alter the 3 dimensional structure of the enzyme, and may affect the progression of renal diseases via decreased NO synthesis. Further study is required to clarify the detailed mechanisms.