Research involving metabolically active and functioning organs, maintained ex vivo in culture-like conditions, could provide numerous opportunities for medical innovations and research. We report successful perfusion of isolated canine and human kidneys ex vivo at near physiologic temperature for 48 h. During the perfusions parameters of metabolism and function remained stable. Nitric oxide synthase (NOS) was identified as the underlying mechanism preserving vascular integrity. Most importantly, when the canine kidneys were reimplanted there was immediate normal renal function. This report highlights the potential significance of whole organ culture using a warm temperature ex vivo perfusion and discusses medical applications that could be developed.