Age-related and disease-induced glomerulosclerosis (GS) in rats have both been well defined in a number of strains and experimental models, but the inter-relationship between the two is not clear. The present study was undertaken to compare the pattern of glomerular injury in these two types of GS. One- and two-shot Thy1 glomerulonephritis (GN) was induced at 2 months of age and followed for 12 months. At 12 months histological injury in proteinuric rats was characterized by segmental hyaline lesions. Two-shot Thy1 GN resulted in accelerated, but morphologically identical injury at 8 months. Histological lesions predictive of subsequent accelerated GS were evaluated at 1, 2, 4 and 6 months. In this regard, glomerular hypercellularity, rather than hypertrophy or matrix increase, was the most consistent histological index of later accelerated disease. The profibrotic cytokines transforming growth factor (TGF)-β<sub>1</sub> and -β<sub>3</sub> were localized distinctly to segmental hyaline lesions, but not to areas of matrix increase within the glomerular tuft. This study reveals that GS after Thy1 GN represents acceleration of an age-related disease, presents evidence for use of prolonged glomerular hypercellularity as the best histological index of future disease progression, and correlates the key lesion of GS in these animals, the segmental hyaline lesion, with the presence of TGF-β peptides.