Endogenous tyrosine nitration and inactivation of manganese superoxide dismutase (MnSOD) has previously been shown to occur in both human and rat chronic renal allograft rejection. To elucidate the time course of MnSOD inactivation and mitochondrial dysfunction at earlier times during renal transplantation, we developed a rodent model of renal ischemia/reperfusion (I/R). Renal function was significantly impaired at 16h reperfusion following 30min of warm ischemia. Tyrosine nitration of specific mitochondrial proteins, MnSOD and cytochrome c, occurred at the earliest time point examined, an event that preceded significant renal injury. Interestingly, a small percentage of both mitochondrial proteins were also located in the cytosol. This leakage and decreased adenosine 5′-triphosphate levels indicate loss of mitochondrial membrane integrity during renal I/R. Inactivation of MnSOD occurred rapidly in this model of renal I/R, suggesting that loss of MnSOD activity leads to further renal injury and nitration of other mitochondrial targets. © 2003 Elsevier Science (USA). All rights reserved.