Studies using Dahl salt-sensitive (SS) rats identified specific quantitative trait loci that predispose animals to hypertension-associated albuminuria and kidney injury. We explored the hypothesis that kidney-specific expression of the transcription factor Ets-1, located within one of these loci on chromosome 8, mediates glomerular injury in SS hypertension. During the first week on a high-salt diet, SS rats and SS rats with only one functioning Ets-1 gene (ES rats) demonstrated similar increases in BP. However, serum creatinine concentration, albuminuria, and glomerular expression of ETS-1 and two ETS-1 targets, MCP-1 and MMP2, did not increase as substantially in ES rats as in SS rats. Mean BP subsequently increased further in SS rats and remained higher than that of ES rats for the rest of the study. After 4 weeks of high-salt intake, ES rats still showed a lower mean serum creatinine concentration and less albuminuria, as well as less histologic evidence of glomerular injury and kidney fibrosis, than SS rats did. To investigate the specific contribution of renal Ets-1, we transplanted kidneys from ES or SS rats into salt-resistant SS-Chr 13BN/McwiCrl (SS-13BN) rats. Within 10 days on a high-salt diet, BP increased similarly in ES and SS allograft recipients, becoming significantly higher than the BP of control isograft recipients. However, mean serum creatinine concentration and albuminuria remained lower in ES allograft recipients than in SS allograft recipients at 2 weeks, and ES allografts showed less glomerular injury and interstitial fibrosis. In conclusion, reduced renal expression of ETS-1 prevented hypertension-associated kidney injury in SS rats.