The development of renin-immunoreactive cells was immunocytochemically studied in Wistar-Imamichi rats. The renin-immunoreactivity was localized in the walls of the abdominal aorta, renal artery and arterioles in the kidney. The renin-immunoreactive cells converged with the progress of development from the renal artery via several arterioles to the afferent arteriole in the kidney. In the afferent arteriole, renin-immunoreactive cells appeared only in those of matured glomeruli. The matured glomerulus first appeared at 17 days of gestation followed by the initial appearance of renin-immunoreactive cells at 18 days. The juxtaglomerular index showing the relation between matured glomeruli and renin-immunoreactive cells increased rapidly until 20 days of gestation, shifted thereafter at a level similar to that at 20 days until 7 days after birth, and increased again until 20 days after birth. Although the area of the transverse section at the hilus of the kidney increased all through the period examined, the number of matured glomeruli increased rapidly from 17 days of gestation to 7 days after birth and maintained a fixed level thereafter. This led to the decrease in the number of matured glomeruli per unit area after 7 days after birth. The fine structure of renin-immunoreactive cells showed no difference according to their sites of localization.