PURPOSE To evaluate the renal function and the renal histological alterations through the stereology and morphometrics in rats submitted to the natural process of aging. METHODS Seventy two Wistar rats, divided in six groups. Each group was sacrificed in a different age: 3, 6, 9, 12, 18 and 24 months. It was performed right nephrectomy, stereological and morphometric analysis of the renal tissue (renal volume and weight, density of volume (Vv[glom]) and numerical density (Nv[glom]) of the renal glomeruli and average glomerular volume (Vol[glom])) and also it was evaluated the renal function for the dosage of serum creatinine and urea. RESULTS There was significant decrease of the renal function in the oldest rats. The renal volume presented gradual increase during the development of the rats with the biggest values registered in the group of animals at 12 months of age and significant progressive decrease in older animals. Vv[glom] presented statistically significant gradual reduction between the groups and the Nv[glom] also decreased significantly. CONCLUSIONS The renal function proved to be inferior in senile rats when compared to the young rats. The morphometric and stereological analysis evidenced renal atrophy, gradual reduction of the volume density and numerical density of the renal glomeruli associated to the aging process.