Hypoxic injury is a major cause of tubular necrosis in the corticomedullary junction of isolated perfused kidneys, and is ameliorated by inhibitors of active reabsorption, such as frusemide. Our objective was to determine whether frusemide has a similar effect on hypothermically stored transplanted kidneys and whether this effect is modulated by impermeant solutes included in the preservation solution. The effect of frusemide on cytochrome oxidase (cyt aa3) oxidation, renal hemodynamics, and morphology was investigated in the New Zealand White rabbit renal autograft model using near-infrared spectroscopy and light microscopy. A total of 30 kidneys were autografted in six groups. Kidneys were transplanted with or without frusemide either (1) without storage (groups 1 and 2) or after 72 hr of storage in: (2) hypertonic citrate containing mannitol (groups 3 and 4); and (3) hypertonic citrate containing polyethylene glycol (PEG) (groups 5 and 6). In unstored transplanted kidneys, frusemide infusion stimulated a significant (P<0.05) increase in hemoglobin oxygenation, compared with untreated controls. There was a tendency for cyt aa3to become reduced, but there were no significant differences between groups 1 and 2. After 72 hr of storage, frusemide infusion stimulated a significant increase in hemoglobin oxygenation in kidneys stored in mannitol (P<0.005), but there was no significant change in kidneys stored in PEG. There was a corresponding reduction in cyt aa3in kidneys stored in mannitol(P<0.05) but no change in those stored in PEG. These results suggest that frusemide has a significant effect on cortical hemoglobin oxygenation in transplanted kidneys and on active reabsorption in the corticomedullary junction. The selection of impermeant is important and mannitol is significantly superior to PEG in this model.