Increases in renal sympathetic nerve activity during ischaemia and renal venous norepinephrine levels after reperfusion play important roles in the development of ischaemia/reperfusion-induced acute kidney injury. In the present study, we examined the effect of isatin, an endogenous monoamine oxidase inhibitor, on renal venous norepinephrine levels, superoxide production after reperfusion, and ischaemia/reperfusion-induced acute kidney injury. Ischaemia/reperfusion-induced acute kidney injury was accomplished by clamping the left renal artery and vein for 45 min, followed by reperfusion, 2 weeks after contralateral nephrectomy. Renal superoxide production and norepinephrine overflow were elevated and significant renal tissue damage was observed following ischaemia/reperfusion injury. Intravenous injection of isatin (10 mg/kg) at 5 min before ischaemia increased the renal venous plasma norepinephrine level after reperfusion and aggravated ischaemia/reperfusion-induced renal dysfunction and histological damage. The excessive superoxide production after reperfusion was significantly suppressed by isatin administration, indicating that the inhibition of oxidative deamination effectively suppressed superoxide production. These data suggest that the exacerbation effect of isatin is associated, at least in part, with increased norepinephrine levels but not with superoxide production. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of isatin involvement in the pathogenesis and/or development of acute kidney injury.