Background:Linkage analyses of crosses of rats susceptible to renal damage, fawn-hooded hypertensive (FHH), and those resistant to kidney damage, August × Copenhagen Irish (ACI), indicated that five quantitative trait loci (QTLs), Rf-1 to Rf-5, influence proteinuria (UPV), albuminuria (UAV) and focal glomerulosclerosis (FGS). Here we present data obtained in congenic rats to directly assess the role of the Rf-1 and Rf-5 QTLs. Methods:Renal damage (UPV, UAV, and FGS) was assessed in ACI, ACI.FHH- (D1Rat324-D1Rat156) (Rf-1B), and ACI.FHH- (D17Rat117-D17Arb5)(D17Rat180-D17Rat51) (Rf-5) congenic rats in the two-kidney (2K) control situation, and following L-NAME-induced hypertension, unilateral nephrectomy (UNX), and UNX combined with L-NAME. In addition we investigated renal blood flow (RBF) autoregulation in 2K congenic and parental ACI and FHH rats. Results:Compared to ACI, Rf-1B congenic rats showed a significant increase in susceptibility to renal damage after all three treatments. The increase was most pronounced after UNX with L-NAME. In contrast, the degree of renal damage in Rf-5 congenic rats was not different from the ACI. Like FHH, Rf-1B rats had impaired renal autoregulation. In contrast, RBF autoregulation of Rf-5 rats does not differ from ACI. Conclusion:The Rf-5 QTL does not show any direct effect. The Rf-1 QTL carries one or more genes impairing renal autoregulation and influencing renal damage susceptibility. Whether these are the same genes remains to be established.