Male Munich-Wistar rats underwent right nephrectomy and were given weekly injections of deoxycorticosterone acetate (DOCA) and 1% saline (salt) to drink. Two studies were performed. In the first, rats given enalapril (ENP) were compared with controls. In the second, rats ingested either standard chow or chow to which the calcium-entry blocker nifedipine (NIF) had been added. Six to eight weeks after nephrectomy, both control DOCA-salt rats and those given ENP had severe hypertension and significant proteinuria. Rats given NIF excreted less protein, and glomerular lesions were not observed in this group. The effects of NIF on several parameters that have been associated with glomerular injury were examined. Micropuncture studies revealed that glomerular capillary pressure was increased in DOCA-salt rats and was not reduced by NIF. Platelet aggregation was also similar in NIF-treated and control rats. Morphometric studies revealed a tendency toward lower glomerular volume of NIF-treated rats; however, kidney weight and glomerular capillary radius were unaffected by therapy. Thus NIF, but not ENP, prevents DOCA-salt rats from developing hypertension and glomerular injury. This effect does not depend on reduction in glomerular pressure or inhibition of platelet aggregation.