Abstract Objective: The objective of the present study was to look at the effect of a protein-rich diet on cyclosporine A (CsA)-induced acute nephrotoxicity in rodents using markers of tubular damage. Design: Female Sprague-Dawley rats were conditioned to either a standard or a casein-rich diet for 2 weeks. Then, they were given CsA intraperitoneally (25 mg/kg/24 h or an equivalent volume of vehicle (Cremophor EL; Sigma Chemical Co, St. Louis, MO) for 7 days at 7 AM. Results: During CsA treatment, bodyweight, caloric consumption, water intake, and urine output were not significantly different in animals fed with the standard Rat Chow and those on the high-protein feeding. On days 1 and 7, the 24-hour urine excretion of N-acetyl-β-d-glucosaminidase (NAG) and β-galactosidase (β-GAL) were significantly (P <.001) lower in CsA-treated rats on the high-protein diet than in those on the standard Rat Chow. After 7 days of treatment with CsA, no significant difference in the renal function level was found between rats fed with the standard or the casein-rich diet. The post-necrotic cellular regeneration in renal cortex was significantly lower (p<0.001) in CsA-treated rats on the high-protein than on the standard diet. In CsA-treated rats on the standard diet, immunogold labeling showed a massive and specific concentration of the drug into lysosomes of proximal tubular cells. Contrastingly, no gold particle was found over the lysosomes of animals given the rich-protein feeding. Conclusion: In our current experimental conditions, a protective effect of high-casein diet against CsA-induced proximal tubular damage was observed in Sprague-Dawley rats. © 2003 by the National Kidney Foundation, Inc.