To elucidate an involvement of mesangial cells in the regulation of glomerular hemodynamics, renal micropuncture techniques and glomerular morphometry were employed in Munich-Wistar rats with mesangial cell lytic or proliferative lesions induced by administration of an antibody reactive with Thy-1.1-like antigens on the mesangial cell surface. The antibody-induced mesangial cell lysis at day 1 resulted in a significant decrease in glomerular ultrafiltration coefficient, leading to reduction in single nephron glomerular filtration rate (SNGFR) in spite of a significant increase in both glomerular hydrostatic pressure and single nephron plasma flow (SNPF). During the antibody-induced proliferative lesion at day 6, glomerular ultrafiltration coefficient and SNGFR remained reduced; however, SNPF was now decreased. Morphometric analysis showed the enlargement of capillary luminal volume and the development of new open space in the mesangium accessible for blood flow in the mesangial cell-lytic glomeruli at day 1. An increase in mesangial cell volume was found in the proliferative glomeruli at day 6. The total area of peripheral glomerular basement membrane, presumed as the probable filtration area, was unchanged in these glomeruli. These results indicate that mesangial lesions decrease glomerular ultrafiltration coefficient, and suggest that mesangial cells participate in regulation of glomerular filtration rate.