Renal functional reserve could be relevant for the maintenance of renal function after kidney donation. Low-dose dopamine induces renal vasodilation with a rise in glomerular filtration rate (GFR) in healthy subjects and is thought to be a reflection of reserve capacity (RC). Older age and higher body mass index (BMI) may be associated with reduced RC. We therefore investigated RC in 178 consecutive living kidney donors (39% males, age 48 +/- 11 years, BMI 25.5 +/- 4.1). RC was determined as the rise in GFR ((125)I-iothalamate), 4 months before and 2 months after donor nephrectomy. Before donor nephrectomy, GFR was 114 +/- 20 mL/min, with a reduction to 72 +/- 12 mL/min after donor nephrectomy. The dopamine-induced rise in GFR of 11 +/- 10% was reduced to 5 +/- 7% after donor nephrectomy (p < 0.001). Before donor nephrectomy, older age and higher BMI did not affect reserve capacity. After donor nephrectomy, the response of GFR to dopamine independently and negatively correlated with older age and higher BMI. Moreover, postdonation reserve capacity was absent in obese donors. The presence of overweight had more impact on loss of RC in younger donors. In conclusion, donor nephrectomy unmasked an age- and overweight-induced loss of reserve capacity. Younger donors with obesity should be carefully monitored.