Background/Aims: The aim of this study was to determine the effects of hemin, a heme oxygenase-1 inducer, and bilirubin on renal ischemia-reperfusion (I-R) injury. Methods: 40 Wistar-Albino rats were allocated into six groups as follows: sham (S), bilirubin (B), hemin (H), ischemia/ reperfusion (IR), IR + bilirubin (IRB) and IR + hemin (IRH). Conjugated bilirubin (20 mg center dot kg(-1) i. v.) was given to rats in groups B and IRB, and hemin (50 mg center dot kg (-1) i. p.) was given to rats in groups H and IRH just prior to reperfusion. Renal I-R was achieved by occluding the renal arteries bilaterally for 50 min. Following 6 h of reperfusion, blood was drawn to study BUN, creatinine and bilirubin, and tissue samples were harvested to determine the renal malonyldialdehyde and heme oxygenase-1 levels, and for histopathologic grading. Results: BUN, creatinine and malonyldialdehyde levels in group IRH were similar to controls whereas the results of groups IR and IRB were signifi cantly higher (p < 0.01). There was a grade 2 damage in all I-R groups. Conclusion: This study showed the preventive effect of hemin on renal ischemia reperfusion injury. Administration of exogenous bilirubin did not prevent the I-R injury. (C) 2006 S. Karger AG, Basel.