Increased expression of osteopontin (OPN) associated with interstitial monocyte infiltration has been demonstrated in the early phase of a variety of experimental renal diseases. Whether these changes occur in the chronic phase of progressive glomerular disease is unknown. Chronic puromycin aminonucleoside nephrosis (PAN) was induced in 16 rats by the injection of a single bolus of PA into the internal jugular vein, which results in a triphasic disease characterized by minimal glomerular change and marked proteinuria, peaking at about 10 to 14 d and subsiding by 28 d, followed by a quiescent 4-wk period of no or minimal proteinuria and then the development of progressive focal glomerulosclerosis (FGS) and increasing proteinuria. Fifteen rats injected similarly with normal saline served as controls. At 11 d after injection, PA rats demonstrated significantly greater urinary protein excretion (P = 0.0107), cortical tubular OPN expression (P = 0.0086), and intraglomerular (P = 0.0009) and interstitial (P = 0.0212) monocyte infiltration than did the controls. At 42 d, no significant differences between the two groups with respect to the above parameters were detected. At 98 d, PA rats had FGS and showed a definite trend to increased proteinuria, cortical tubular OPN, and intraglomerular monocyte infiltration. Although the cortical interstitial monocyte count was not elevated in PA rats compared with controls, there were significantly more monocytes around OPN-positive cortical tubules than around OPN-negative ones (P = 0.0011). Cortical tubular OPN expression correlated well with urinary protein excretion (r = 0.932, P < 0.0001), cortical tubular proliferating cell nuclear antigen (r = 0.796, P < 0.0001), and intraglomerular monocyte count (r = 0.552, P = 0.0013). The results are consistent with a monocyte chemoattractant role for OPN and suggest that OPN is upregulated in the chronic phase of PAN and that this increase in expression is a result of glomerular events.