The function of rat kidneys subjected to 60 minutes of warm ischaemia at body-temperature was notably protected by the prior administration of the purine nucleoside inosine as a 40 mg/ml solution maintained at 37 degrees C. With direct intrarenal arterial perfusion of the kidney at the onset of ischaemia or with intraperitoneal (i.p.) injection 40 minutes before ischaemia, the plasma-creatinine at 24 hours was significantly lower (P less than 0-001) than that of untreated 60-minute-ischaemia controls and not significantly different from that of non-ischaemic unilateral-nephrectomy controls. Intravenous inosine 20 minutes beforehand also afforded significant (P less than 0-01) protection. 7-day survival was 100% in 30 inosine-pretreated rats and 65% in 45 rats with all other types of pre-treatment (P less than 0-001). Although i.p. adenosine was better (P less than 0-05) than no treatment, i.p. inosine was better (P less than 0-02) than i.p. adenosine. Allopurinol, phenoxybenzamine, A.T.P., or cyclic A.M.P. caused no improvement over controls. Kidneys perfused with inosine maintained higher purine-nucleotide levels during ischaemia and rapidly resynthesised A.T.P. when blood-flow was restored in vivo.