Background-Ischemia followed by reperfusion (I/R) causes apoptosis, inflammation, and tissue damage leading to organ malfunction. Ischemic preconditioning can protect against such injury. This study investigates the contribution of the acute phase proteins alpha(1)-acid glycoprotein (AGP) and alpha(1)-antitrypsin (AAT) to the protective effect of ischemic preconditioning in the kidney. Methods and Results-Exogenous AGP and AAT inhibited apoptosis and inflammation after 45 minutes of renal VR in a murine model. AGP and AAT administered at reperfusion prevented apoptosis at 2 hours and 24 hours, as evaluated by the presence of internucleosomal DNA cleavage, terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP nick end-labeling, and the determination of renal caspase-1- and caspase-3-like activity. AGP and AAT exerted anti-inflammatory effects, as reflected by reduced renal tumor necrosis factor-alpha expression and neutrophil influx after 24 hours. In general, these agents improved renal function. Similar effects were observed when AGP and AAT were administered 2 hours after reperfusion but to a lesser extent and without functional improvement. Moreover, I/R elicited an acute phase response, as reflected by elevated serum AGP and serum amyloid P (SAP) levels after 24 hours, and increased hepatic acute phase protein mRNA levels after 18 hours of renal reperfusion. Conclusions-We propose that the antiapoptotic and anti-inflammatory effects of AGP and AAT contribute to the delayed type of protection associated with ischemic preconditioning and other insults. This mechanism is potentially involved in the course of many clinical conditions associated with I/R injury. Moreover, exogenous administration of these proteins may provide new therapeutic means of treatment.