Adenosine (ADO) is an important regulatory purine nucleoside that accumulates at sites of inflammation and tissue injury including in diseases associated with renal pathology. Endogenous levels of ADO may be increased by inhibiting the ADO-metabolizing enzyme, ADO kinase (AK). AK inhibitors have demonstrated protection in rodent models of diabetic nephropathy. To further investigate AK inhibition as a potential mechanism for renal protection, A-306989, a potent non-nucleoside AK inhibitor, was examined in both in vitro and in vivo assays of renal injury. A-306989 prevented podocyte damage (disruption of actin cytoskeleton) and increased podocyte survival following puromycin aminonucleoside (PAN) application in both mouse and human conditionally immortalized podocytes. Prophylactic oral administration of A-306989 (1.5, 5 and 15 mg/kg) reduced proteinuria in a dose-dependent manner and repressed pro-inflammatory/fibrotic gene up-regulation; A-306989 was also efficacious when administered two days following the PAN-insult. A-306989 (10 and 30 mg/kg) also significantly reduced proteinuria and macrophage infiltration in a rat model of glomerulonephritis. Finally, A-306989 (15 and 50 mg/kg) reduced the expression levels of pro-inflammatory/fibrotic genes, and reduced macrophage infiltration (50 mg/kg), but did not affect the deposition of interstitial collagen in fibrotic kidneys from mice with unilateral ureter obstruction. A-306989 also had beneficial actions on “quality of life” measures including improving body weight loss. Thus, these data indicate that enhancement of endogenous ADO levels by A-306989 can positively modulate renal pathology and mimic some of the previously reported beneficial actions of ADO A2A receptor agonists.