The renal and hepatic metallothionein (MT) and serum zinc levels were studied in rats following renal ischemia, to clarify the effects of renal damage on the zinc metabolism. The serum zinc concentration began to decrease on the 4th day in the bilateral renal ischemic rat. The accumulation of hepatic MT was stimulated by sham operation and was augmented furthermore by renal ischemic damage. The renal MT level increased gradually and reached the maximum on the 3rd day in the bilateral renal ischemic rat. The MT level in the injured kidney was higher than that in the intact kidney in the unilateral renal ischemic rat. These results suggested that the mechanism of MT synthesis in the kidney was different from that in the liver, and that some local factor might induce MT in the injured kidney.