1. The intrarenal erythrocyte distribution, total renal blood flow and renal vascular resistance were studied before and during recirculation after 60 min of warm ischaemia in three groups of rabbits. One group was pretreated with superoxide dismutase, another with catalase and the third group was not pretreated at all.
2. In non-pretreated ischaemic kidneys there was a significant trapping of labelled erythrocytes in the outer stripe of the medulla. This trapping was not seen in non-ischaemic control kidneys and was completely prevented by pretreatment with either superoxide dismutase or catalase.
3. In non-pretreated ischaemic kidneys there was a transient increase in total renal blood flow during the first 5 min of recirculation, after which it returned to preischaemic values. After pretreatment with catalase the postischaemic increase in blood flow was more pronounced but again the blood flow returned to preischaemic values within 30 min. Pretreatment with superoxide dismutase resulted in a rapid postischaemic increase in blood flow which remained high throughout the 30 min period studied.
4. The renal vascular resistance decreased initially during recirculation after ischaemia in both pretreated and non-pretreated kidneys. In the latter it returned to pre-ischaemic values within 10 min whereas a slower increase was observed after catalase pretreatment. After pretreatment with superoxide dismutase the resistance remained low during the 30 min recorded.