Recent experimental data has implicated growth hormone in the development of glomerular sclerosis. In this study, we have examined the development and progression of glomerular and tubulointerstitial scarring in Wistar and Dwarf rats, selectively growth hormone-deficient, following subtotal nephrectomy. Wistar rats showed progressive proteinuria, hypertension and renal failure as well as severe renal scarring 120 days after subtotal nephrectomy. In contrast, growth hormone-deficient Dwarf rats had minimal proteinuria, mild renal functional impairment and moderate renal histological scarring. The difference in these functional and structural parameters between the two strains is highly significant, although both experimental groups had comparable food consumption and systemic blood pressure. The significantly smaller glomeruli and limited kidney hypertrophy over 120 days observed in Dwarf rats may account for some of the protection against glomerular sclerosis and tubulointerstitial scarring observed in that strain.