The effects of starvation on rat renal cytochrome P-450s were studied. The content of spectrally measured cytochrome P-450 in the renal microsomes of male rats increased 2-fold with 72 h starvation, but cytochrome b5 and NADPH-cytochrome P-450 reductase were not induced. 7-Ethoxycoumarin O-dealkylation and aniline hydroxylation activities of the renal microsomes of control male rats were very low but were induced 2.5-3-fold by 72 h starvation. Aminopyrine N-demethylation and lauric acid hydroxylation activities were induced 1.5-2-fold by 72 h starvation. The changes in catalytic activities suggested that the contents of individual cytochrome P-450s in the renal microsomes were altered by starvation. The contents of some cytochrome P-450s were measured by Western blotting. P450 DM (P450IIE1), a typical form of cytochrome P-450 induced by starvation in rat liver, was barely detected in rat kidney and was induced 2-fold by 72 h starvation. P450 K-5, a typical renal cytochrome P-450 and lauric acid hydroxylase, accounted for 81% of the spectrally measured cytochrome P-450 in the renal microsomes of control male rats and was induced 2-fold by 72 h starvation. P450 K-5 was not induced in rat kidney by treatment with chemicals such as acetone or clofibrate. The renal microsomes of male rats contained 6-times as much P450 K-5 as those of female rats. These results suggest that P450 K-5 is regulated by an endocrine factor.