After unilateral nephrectomy (UNx) in the rat, cytochrome P-450 (cP-450)-linked arachidonate enzymatic activity was markedly and specifically induced in microsomal fractions from the remaining kidney. The enzymatic activity reached 200% at 1 wk and 285% at 2 wk post-UNx as compared with non-UNx controls. Mean baseline values for GFR and RPF rate in the remaining kidney 2 wk after UNx were 1.56 +/- 0.10 and 6.47 +/- 0.35 mL/min, respectively. In these rats, the administration of ketoconazole, a cP-450 inhibitor, led to 75% inhibition of renal cP-450 arachidonate metabolism and was associated with acute augmentations in both GFR and RPF to 1.82 +/- 0.18 (P < 0.05 versus baseline) and 7.54 +/- 0.37 mL/min (P < 0.05 versus baseline), respectively. Because vasoconstrictor arachidonate epoxygenase products are endogenously generated in the rat kidney, these findings suggest that the stimulation of renal cP-450-mediated oxygenation of arachidonic acid may subserve an important counterregulatory function in mitigating the renal hyperperfusion and hyperfiltration that follow reductions in renal mass.