There is a lack of suitable animal models that replicate the slowly progressive chronic interstitial fibrosis that is characteristic of many human chronic nephropathies. We describe a chronic long-term (6-mo) model of lithium-induced renal fibrosis, with minimal active inflammation, which mimics chronic kidney interstitial fibrosis seen in the human kidney. Rats received lithium via their chow (60 mmol lithium/kg food) daily for 6 mo. No animals died during the exposure. Nephrogenic diabetes insipidus was established by 3 wk and persisted for the 6 mo. Following metabolic studies, the animals were killed at 1, 3, and 6 mo and the kidneys were processed for histological and immunohistochemical studies. Progressive interstitial fibrosis, characterized by increasing numbers of myofibroblasts, enhanced transforming growth factor-β(1) expression and interstitial collagen deposition, and a minimal inflammatory cellular response was evident. Elucidation of the underlying mechanisms of injury in this model will provide a greater understanding of chronic interstitial fibrosis and allow the development of intervention strategies to prevent injury.