A method to quantitate myeloperoxidase (MPO) activity from rat whole kidney is described. Polymorphonuclear leukocyte (PMN) infiltration into tissue is a hallmark of acute inflammation. Historically, the degree of inflammation has been quantified by the identification and enumeration of PMNs histologically or by some other means. More recently, the enzyme activity of MPO, a marker enzyme for PMN, and freshly emigrated monocytes in many inflamed tissues has replaced these methods. The kidney, however, has been identified as a tissue from which MPO cannot be measured. Indeed, kidney homogenized by a standard extraction procedure was devoid of MPO activity. We modified the established methodology so that kidney was homogenized in 5 mM potassium phosphate buffer (PB) first and then centrifuged at 30,000 g for 30 min at 4 degrees C prior to extraction. The resulting 30,000 g pellets expressed MPO activity after suspending them in 50 mM PB containing 0.5% hexadecyltrimethylammoniumbromide (HTAB). Interference in the assay was observed with supernatants from control and inflamed kidney, which appeared to be due to kidney-derived material forming a complex with HTAB. After washing the pellets twice, we noted that their extracts exhibited greater activity, and interference from supernatants was abolished. Using this method, we observed that acutely inflamed kidneys from rats treated with sheep nephrotoxic immunoglobulin G (IgG) had significantly elevated MPO activity over kidneys from control rats. Thus, the described technique allows for the routine assay of MPO in kidney tissue.