The influence of chronic renal failure on renal susceptibility to an acute ischemic insult was evaluated. Recipient Lewis rats were randomly assigned to undergo 5/6 nephrectomy (chronic renal failure, CRF) or sham operation (normal renal function, NRF). After 11 weeks, normal kidneys of Lewis donor rats were transplanted in the recipients. The outcome of the isografts was assessed. Filtration capacity of the isografts in the CRF rats was preserved to approximately one-quarter of its normal capacity on the 1st day post-transplantation, whereas it fell to 0 in the NRF rats. This was reflected by a significantly higher increase in serum creatinine in the latter group. The isografts in the CRF rats had a significantly lower degree of acute tubular necrosis and no increase in the number of macrophages and T lymphocytes in the first 24 h in contrast to the NRF rats. Epithelial regeneration and repair started earlier in the CRF group. In conclusion, the present study indicated that CRF blunted ischemia/reperfusion injury of a transplanted kidney, and that its regeneration capacity was certainly not hampered by the presence of chronic uremia. These results will be the basis for studies on modulation of early leukocyte-endothelial interactions resulting from immunological disturbances inherent to the uremic environment.