The renal glomeruli of 12 male Osborne-Mendel (OM) rats 3 to 24 weeks old were examined by electron microscopy. Effacement of podocyte foot processes (FPs) developed at 3 weeks of age and became progressively worse over time. Loss or dislocation of the slit membrane was also found. Vacuoles and osmiophilic lysosomes appeared in the podocytes starting at 6 weeks of age. Podocyte detachment from the glomerular basement membrane (GBM) was apparent at 18 weeks of age. Laminated GBM was occasionally observed in all animals. These features might lead to the development of spontaneous proteinuria and glomerulosclerosis in OM rats.