MicroRNAs are endogenous repressors of gene expression. We examined microRNAs in the renal medulla of Dahl salt-sensitive rats and consomic SS-13(BN) rats. Salt-induced hypertension and renal injury in Dahl salt-sensitive rats, particularly medullary interstitial fibrosis, have been shown previously to be substantially attenuated in SS-13(BN) rats. Of 377 microRNAs examined, 5 were found to be differentially expressed between Dahl salt-sensitive rats and consomic SS-13(BN) rats receiving a high-salt diet. Real-time PCR analysis demonstrated that high-salt diets induced substantial upregulation of miR-29b in the renal medulla of SS-13(BN) rats but not in SS rats. miR-29b was predicted to regulate 20 collagen genes, matrix metalloproteinase 2 (Mmp2), integrin beta1 (Itgb1), and other genes related to the extracellular matrix. Expression of 9 collagen genes and Mmp2 was upregulated by a high-salt diet in the renal medulla of SS rats, but not in SS-13(BN) rats, an expression pattern opposite to miR-29b. Knockdown of miR-29b in the kidneys of SS-13(BN) rats resulted in upregulation of several collagen genes. miR-29b reduced expression levels of several collagen genes and Itgb1 in cultured rat renal medullary epithelial cells. Moreover, miR-29b suppressed the activity of luciferase when the reporter gene was linked to a 3'-untranslated segment of collagen genes Col1a1, Col3a1, Col4a1, Col5a1, Col5a2, Col5a3, Col7a1, Col8a1, Mmp2, or Itgb1 but not Col12a1. The result demonstrated broad effects of miR-29b on a large number of collagens and genes related to the extracellular matrix and suggested involvement of miR-29b in the protection from renal medullary injury in SS-13(BN) rats.