Male spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR) have higher blood pressure, blunted pressure-natriuresis relationship, and accelerated progression of renal injury compared with female SHR. Renal medullary prostanoids mediate vascular tone, salt and water balance, and renin release and, as a result, are involved in the maintenance of renal blood flow and the pathogenesis of hypertension. The aim of this study was to determine whether a gender difference exists in prostanoid production in SHR and whether sex steroids influence prostaglandin (PG) production. Thirteen-week-old intact and gonadectomized male and female SHR rats were placed in metabolic cages for 24-hour urine collection. Prostanoid excretion was determined using enzyme immunoassay. Kidneys were isolated and separated into outer and inner medulla for Western blot analysis. Female SHR had enhanced urinary excretion of PG E2 (PGE2) metabolites and thromboxane B2, an indicator of renal thromboxane production, compared with male SHR. There were no gender differences in excretion of systemic thromboxane or prostacyclin. Correspondingly, female SHR had enhanced microsomal PGE2 synthase protein expression in the renal inner medulla and greater cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) expression in the outer medulla. Orchidectomy was associated with increased PGE2 metabolite excretion and microsomal PGE synthase protein expression. Thromboxane B2 excretion was not affected by gonadectomy in either male or female SHR. Protein expressions of COX and cytoplasmic PGE2 synthase in the renal medulla were unchanged by gonadectomy in both sexes. These results demonstrate a sexual dimorphism in renal production of prostanoids in SHR and that PGE production is testosterone sensitive and estrogen insensitive. © 2005 American Heart Association, Inc.