Background: The selectin glycoproteins are involved in the pathogenesis of renal ischemia-reperfusion injury. We investigated the ability of glycyrrhizin, a known selectin inhibitor, to attenuate renal ischemia-reperfusion injury. Methods: Eighteen New Zealand white rabbits underwent midline laparotomy with renal artery cross-clamping. After 30 minutes of reperfusion, group 1 (control, n = 10) animals received a saline infusion, while group 2 (GLY, n = 8) animals received a glycyrrhizin infusion. Renal function was compared between the two groups after 72 hours of reperfusion. A t test was utilized, with α set at P <0.05. Results: Group 1 and group 2 animals had similar baseline renal function. However, after 72 hours of reperfusion, group 1 animals had a significantly higher mean blood urea nitrogen creatinine ratio than group 2 animals (P <0.01), indicating preserved renal function in rabbits treated with glycyrrhizin. Conclusions: Selectin blockade using glycyrrhizin attenuates renal ischemia-reperfusion injury when given 30 minutes after the onset of reperfusion in a rabbit model. Copyright (C) 1999 Excerpta Medica Inc.