Since the topic of the role of the kidneys in the regulation of acid-base balance was last reviewed from a teaching perspective (Koeppen BM. Renal regulation of acid-base balance. Adv Physiol Educ 20: 132-141, 1998), our understanding of the specific membrane transporters involved in H(+), HCO(3)(-), and NH(4)(+) transport, and especially how these transporters are regulated in response to systemic acid-base disorders, has advanced considerably. In this review, these new aspects of renal function are presented, as are the broader and more general concepts related to the role of the kidneys in maintaining the acid-base balance. It is intended that this review will assist those who teach this aspect of human physiology to first-year health profession students.