Abstract The effects of rapamycin (RAPA), administered at therapeutic doses, were investigated in the spontaneously hypertensive rat (SHR). Additionally, the reversibility of RAPA's renal effects was investigated at a supratherapeutic dose. At doses that were active in preventing heart and kidney allo-graft rejection in the rat (0.01-0.08 mg/kg i. v.), RAPA had no effect on kidney function or rat body weight gain. At higher doses (0.8 mg/kg), RAPA produced significant changes in kidney function parameters and caused a loss in body weight. Histopathologic changes, including necrotizing vasculopathy and tubular atrophy, were noted at therapeutic doses. The effects of RAPA on kidney function were completely reversible after a 2-week washout period, though the histopathologic changes were still evident. These studies demonstrate that RAPA does not impair kidney function at therapeutic doses when administered for 2 weeks but does appear to accelerate the naturally occurring renal lesions of the SHR.