Previously, daptomycin was shown to reduce tobramycin nephrotoxicity in vivo (D. Beauchamp, M. Pellerin, P. Gourde, M. Pettigrew, and M. G. Bergeron, Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 34:139-147, 1990; C. A. Wood, H. C. Finkbeiner, S. J. Kohlhepp, P. W. Kohnen, and D. C. Gilbert, Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 33:1280-1285, 1989). Female Sprague-Dawley rats were treated with saline (NaCl, 0.9%), daptomycin (10 mg/kg of body weight every 12 h, subcutaneously), gentamicin (30 mg/kg/12 h, intraperitoneally) or with a combination of daptomycin plus gentamicin over a 10-day period. Animals were killed 4, 10, and 20 days after the end of treatment. Four days after the end of drug administration, gentamicin and daptomycin levels in the renal cortices of animals treated with the combination of daptomycin and gentamicin were significantly higher than in those of rats given gentamicin or daptomycin alone (P < 0.01). Despite the higher cortical concentrations of gentamicin, rats given the combination of gentamicin and daptomycin had less reduction in renal cortex sphingomyelinase activity, less evidence of regeneration of cellular cortical cells ([3H]thymidine incorporation into cortex DNA), lower creatinine concentration in serum, and less histopathologic evidence of injury than rats given gentamicin alone. By immunogold technique, both daptomycin and gentamicin were localized to the lysosomes of proximal tubular cells, regardless of whether animals received the drugs alone or in combination. Interestingly, myeloid body formation occurred in both those animals given gentamicin alone and those given daptomycin plus gentamicin. No significant changes were observed for all groups between 10 and 20 days after the end of therapy, suggesting that the toxicity of gentamicin was not delayed by the concomitant injection of daptomycin. The results confirm that daptomycin can attenuate experimental gentamicin nephrotoxicity.