The present study was performed to examine whether renal expression of the renin gene is regulated by thyroid hormone. Thirty male Sprague-Dawley rats were divided into hypothyroid, control, and hyperthyroid groups by use of daily intraperitoneal administration of methimazole, saline vehicle, or thyroxine, respectively. Each group was further subdivided into sympathetic innervated and sympathetic denervated subgroups by use of intraperitoneal administration of saline vehicle or 6-hydroxydopamine. Plasma renin activity and renal levels of renin were measured by radioimmunoassays after 8 wk. Renal expression of renin mRNA was evaluated by a semiquantitative reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction. Compared with control animals, plasma renin activity, renal level of renin, and renal expression of renin mRNA were reduced (82, 94, and 71%, respectively) in hypothyroid animals and elevated (155, 1,182, and 152%, respectively) in hyperthyroid animals. Sympathetic denervation had no independent effect on these renin values. Our results indicate that thyroid hormone stimulates renin synthesis without involving the sympathetic nervous system.