One of the factors negatively influencing the outcome after kidney transplantation is ischemia-reperfusion (I/R) injury. Preoperative fasting is able to confer protection against I/R injury. We hypothesized that the protection imposed by preoperative fasting is mediated by increased levels of acylated ghrelin. Male C57BL/6 mice, 10 to 12 weeks old, were fasted for 1, 2, or 3 days, after which, acylated ghrelin levels were determined. Ad libitum fed mice were injected with acylated ghrelin or phosphate-buffered saline before renal I/R injury. Furthermore, mice were fasted for 3 days during which they were injected with a growth hormone secretagogue receptor antagonist, to block the effects of ghrelin, or a vehiculum. Bilateral renal I/R injury was induced by clamping the artery and vein of the left and right kidney simultaneously for 37 minutes. Kidney function was assessed by means of serum urea values determined at 24 and 48 hours after reperfusion. Fasting significantly increased acylated ghrelin serum levels. Ghrelin suppletion in ad libitum fed animals or ghrelin receptor blockade in fasted animals did not affect renal function after I/R injury. Our data suggest that the increased levels of acylated ghrelin induced by fasting do not mediate its protection against renal I/R injury. (C) 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.