Background: This study investigates the effect of nephrectomy in young and aged mice on some biochemical, histological and behavioural aspects. Methods: Each age group, 2- and 12-months-old, comprised a sham-operated group, a unilaterally nephrectomized group and a subtotally nephrectomized group. Consequences of nephrectomy were examined 10 days postsurgery on urea and guanidino compound levels in body fluids and brain; the remaining kidney by light-microscopic examination; and learning and memory abilities using the Morris water maze task. Results: Effect of nephrectomy on urea and guanidino compound levels in plasma, urine and brain was significantly more pronounced in the young age group. Some guanidino compounds show a tendency to decrease with aging in the sham-operated group and the two nephrectomized groups. Higher compensatory kidney hypertrophy was found in younger nephrectomized mice whereas in older mice glomerular mesangial expansion was a common feature. Finally, young mice with subtotal nephrectomy displayed a slight but significant impairment in memory and learning; whilst old nephrectomized mice manifested no impairment. Conclusions: Nephrectomy induces more changes in younger mice than in older mice as observed in higher variation of urea and guanidino compound levels, glomerular volume and kidney hypertrophy and decline in spatial learning and memory.