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Nephrotoxicity is the main side effect of gentamicin (GENTA). Preconditioning (PC) refers to a situation in which an organ subjected to an injury responds less intensely when exposed to another injury. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of PC with GENTA on nephrotoxic acute kidney injury (AKI). GENTA group rats were injected daily with GENTA (40 mg/kg/BW) for 10 days. PC animals were injected with GENTA for 3 days (40 mg/kg/BW/daily) and, after one rest week, were injected daily with GENTA for 10 days. Animals of the L-NAME and DICLO groups were preconditioned for 3 days and then received daily injections of GENTA for 10 days; they were concomitantly treated with L-NAME (10 mg/kg/BW) and diclofenac (DICLO, 5 mg/kg/BW) for 13 days. Blood and urine were collected for measurement of serum creatinine, urea, urine sodium, protein, hydroperoxides, lipid peroxidation and nitric oxide (NO). The animals were killed; kidneys were removed for histology and immunohistochemistry for apoptosis and cell proliferation. GENTA group rats showed an increase in plasma creatinine, urea, urine sodium, hydroperoxides, lipid peroxidation, proteinuria, necrosis and apoptosis, characterizing nephrotoxic AKI. PC animals showed a decrease in these parameters and increased proliferation. The blockade of NO synthesis by L-NAME potentiated the protective effect, suggesting that NO contributed to the injury caused by GENTA. The blockade of prostaglandin synthesis with DICLO increased serum and urinary parameters, blunting the protective effect of PC. Our data suggest that PC could be a useful tool to protect against nephrotoxic AKI.