Background: Epidermal growth factor (EGF) plays an important role in tubular regeneration in kidneys with ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury. This study was undertaken to evaluate the influence of cyclosporine A (CsA) or FK506 on mature EGF expression and tubular regeneration in rat kidneys with I/R injury. Methods: Two separate studies were performed. First, the expression of EGF and tubular regeneration was observed in rat kidneys with I/R injury on days 1, 2, 3, 5, and 7. Second, the dose-dependent response of EGF expression and tubular regeneration to CsA (5, 10, and 20 mg/kg) or FK506 (0.25, 0.5, and 1.0 mg/kg) was observed in rat kidneys with I/R injury. I/R injury was induced by clamping both renal arteries for 45 min, and CsA or FK506 was injected just after release of vascular clamps. Rats were sacrificed on day 1 for evaluation of EGF expression, and on day 2 for evaluation of BudU-positive cells. Renal function, tubular injury score, EGF expression assessed by immunoblotting, levels of CsA and FK506 in whole blood, and immunostaining for BrdU was studied. Results: EGF expression was maximal on day 1 (cortex, 29-fold; medulla, 31-fold compared with sham-operated controls), and renal tubular regeneration measured with the number of BrdU-positive cells was maximal on days 2 and 3 in kidney with I/R injury, and thereafter the level of EGF and the number of BrdU-positive cells decreased progressively. CsA or FK506 treatment to ischemic rat kidneys reduced the expression of EGF and the number of BrdU-positive cells in a dose-dependent manner. Conclusions: CsA or FK506 treatment delays recovery from acute tubular necrosis, and this may be associated with decreased EGF expression by CsA or FK506.