It has been proposed that fish oil dietary supplementation in the chronic rat 5/6 renal ablation model may be either protective or toxic. These conflicting hypotheses were tested in rats who underwent renal ablation or sham surgery. Twenty rats received sham surgery, and 40 received 5/6 renal ablation. All rats were fed a regular laboratory diet up to 1 week postsurgery. At that time, one half of the renal ablation group was provided with an isocaloric diet supplemented with 24% MaxEPA (fish oil), 1% safflower oil, and antioxidants. The renal ablation rats developed hypertension, albuminuria, gammaglobulinuria, and a decline in glomerular filtration rate, which was less in the fish oil group compared with that in the regular laboratory diet group at 10 and 20 wk postsurgery. The fish oil renal ablation rats had significantly less glomerulosclerosis than did the regular laboratory diet renal ablation animals, and no more glomerular fibrin deposition than did the sham controls. The renal ablation regular laboratory diet rats had a significant dyslipidemia at 20 wk which was prevented in the fish oil renal ablation cohort. The fish oil renal ablation rats also demonstrated a significant decline in renal tissue arachidonic acid incorporation and a concomitant increase in eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid incorporation. The mortality of the renal ablation group was greater than that of the sham controls but not significantly different for the fish oil or the regular laboratory diet groups. These results support the hypothesis that the fish oil diet containing specific antioxidant, vitamin E, and essential fatty acid supplementation is protective in the rat remnant nephron model and prevents the evolution of glomerulosclerosis with associated renal functional impairment, while preserving glomerular filtration.