The aim of the present study was to examine calcium metabolism of the renal cortex in experimental chronic renal failure, together with morphologic criteria of nephrocalcinosis and to determine the effect of chronic verapamil administration on these parameters. In subtotally nephrectomized (SNX) rats 3 weeks after surgery, renal cortical calcium content increased more than two-fold. 45Ca incorporation into renal cortical slices in SNX revealed a 35% increase, associated with a 50% increase in a lanthanum-resistant fraction of 45Ca uptake. Radiocalcium wash-out curves in this group demonstrated abnormal retention of the isotope for up to 30 min of incubation. In contrast, radiocalcium incorporation and wash-out in SNX rats chronically treated with verapamil were similar to that obtained in the sham group. Verapamil administration significantly reduced, but did not normalize, renal cortical calcium content. Von Kossa staining demonstrated the deposition of calcium in the renal parenchyma of SNX rats. Ultrastructurally, it was accompanied by mitochondrial disorganization and calcification, as well as by the tubular basement membrane destruction and mineralization. These morphologic patterns of nephrocalcinosis were significantly ameliorated in SNX rats treated with verapamil. We conclude that chronic verapamil administration results in amelioration of uremic nephrocalcinosis.