Increased oxidative stress and disturbance in nitric oxide bioavailability lead to endothelial dysfunction and cardiovascular complication in renal disease. Gentamicin (GM), a commonly used antibiotic, exhibits a toxic effect on renal proximal tubules. Prevention of its nephrotoxicity is important. Therefore, we investigated whether heme oxygenase 1 HO-1) induction influenced kidney and vascular function in GM-administered rats. GM (100 mg.kg(-1).day(-1); i.p.) was given to rats alone or together with hemin (20 mg.kg(-1) on alternate days; i.p.) for 14 days. Plasma and kidney L-arginine, asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA), and symmetric dimethylarginine (SDMA) as well as kidney 4-hydroxynonenal (HNE) levels and myeloperoxidase (MPO) activity were measured. Histopathological examinations of kidney and relaxation and contraction responses of aorta were also examined. GM increased serum SDMA, urea nitrogen (BUN), and creatinine levels and caused histopathological alterations in the kidney. GM elevated HO-1 protein and mRNA expressions, 4-HNE level, and MPO activity and decreased antioxidant enzyme activities and L-arginine levels in the kidney. Decreased relaxation and contraction were detected in the aorta. Hemin restored renal oxidative stress and inflammatory changes together with vascular dysfunction, but did not affect SDMA, BUN, or creatinine levels. We conclude that HO-1 induction may be effective in improving renal oxidative stress, inflammation, and vascular dysfunction mediated by GM.