Adriamycin nephropathy (AN) is a rodent model of chronic kidney disease that has been studied extensively and has enabled a greater understanding of the processes underlying the progression of chronic proteinuric renal disease. AN is characterized by podocyte injury followed by glomerulosclerosis, tubulointerstitial inflammation and fibrosis. Genetic studies have demonstrated a number of loci that alter both risk and severity of renal injury induced by Adriamycin. Adriamycin-induced renal injury has been shown in numerous studies to be modulated by both non-immune and immune factors, and has facilitated further study of mechanisms of tubulointerstitial injury. This review will outline the pharmacological behaviour of Adriamycin, and describe in detail the model of AN, including its key structural characteristics, genetic susceptibility and pathogenesis.