A mouse model of renal failure, which is induced by the sequential electrocoagulation of the right renal cortex and left nephrectomy, was examined for the capacity to reproduce the characteristics of chronic uremia. Assessment was conducted six weeks after the second surgical procedure in 13 week old female C57BL/6 inbred mice with renal failure and in normal and sham-operated controls. The surgery, which was well tolerated, was free of local and systemic signs of inflammation or infection. Growth was significantly delayed in all animals post surgery however renal failure mice presented the most severe growth retardation. Biochemical analysis of plasma revealed multiple abnormalities with commensurate elevations of urea and creatinine. In addition to the expected hyperphosphatemia, hyperkalemia and acidosis, a significant increase in cholesterol was present. Furthermore, in contrast to controls, renal failure mice produced large volumes of urine which contained significant levels of protein. Renal failure mice presented profound hematological changes in the red cell series in which anemia was evident. Changes in plasma biochemistry and in bone histology revealed the presence of severe secondary hyperparathyroidism. It was therefore concluded that the described mouse model of chronic renal failure presented characteristics consistent with those observed clinically in end-stage renal disease.