Renal effects of a selective cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) inhibitor [MF-Tricyclic; 3-(3,4-difluorophenyl)-4-(4-(methylsulfonyl)phenyl)-2-(5H)-furanone] were studied in control and volume-depleted conscious dogs. MF-Tricyclic was compared with the nonselective COX-1/COX-2 inhibitor indomethacin. Six instrumented male dogs were randomly selected to receive MF-Tricyclic or indomethacin at 10 mg/kg. Volume depletion was effected by a sodium-restricted diet (14 days) with administration of furosemide (7.5 mg/kg, i.v.) the day before the experiment. Indomethacin ablated systemic COX-1 activity (p < 0.05), whereas MF-Tricyclic did not affect this activity. Each compound achieved plasma concentrations in excess of their respective median inhibitory concentrations (IC50 values) against canine COX-2. In controls, neither compound affected mean arterial pressure (MAP), heart rate (HR), renal blood flow (RBF), fractional excretion (FE) Na+, or FE K+. In volume-depleted dogs, indomethacin reduced RBF (p < 0.05), whereas MF-Tricyclic did not affect this parameter. Indices of renal function in volume-depleted dogs were not affected. These data are consistent with the view that the effects of indomethacin on RBF are a consequence of inhibition of COX-1 activity. Furthermore, in these studies, short-term administration of a selective COX-2 inhibitor was without deleterious effects on renal function.