Renal ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury often occurs as a result of vascular surgery, organ procurement, or transplantation. We previously showed that renal I/R results in ATP depletion, oxidant production, and manganese superoxide dismutase (MnSOD) inactivation. There have been several reports that overexpression of MnSOD protects tissues/organs from I/R-related damage, thus a loss of MnSOD activity during I/R likely contributes to tissue injury. The present study examined the therapeutic benefit of a catalytic antioxidant, Mn(III) meso-tetrakis(N-n-hexylpyridinium-2-yl)porphyrin (MnTnHex-2-PyP(5+)), using the rat renal I/R model. This was the first study to examine the effects of MnTnHex-2-PyP(5+) in an animal model of oxidative stress injury. Our results showed that porphyrin pretreatment of rats for 24 h protected against ATP depletion, MnSOD inactivation, nitrotyrosine formation, and renal dysfunction. The dose (50 microg/kg) used in this study is lower than doses of various types of antioxidants commonly used in animal models of oxidative stress injuries. In addition, using novel proteomic techniques, we identified the ATP synthase-beta subunit as a key protein induced by MnTnHex-2-PyP(5+) treatment alone and complex V (ATP synthase) as a target of injury during renal I/R. These results showed that MnTnHex-2-PyP(5+) protected against renal I/R injury via induction of key mitochondrial proteins that may be capable of blunting oxidative injury.