Leukocyte recruitment contributes to acute kidney injury (AKI), but the mechanisms by which leukocytes promote injury are not completely understood. The degranulation of mast cells releases inflammatory molecules, including TNF, but whether these cells participate in the pathogenesis of AKI is unknown. Here, we induced AKI with cisplatin in mast cell-deficient and wild-type mice. Compared with wild-type mice, deficiency of mast cells attenuated renal injury, reduced serum levels of TNF, and reduced recruitment of leukocytes to the inflamed kidney. Mast cell-deficient mice also exhibited significantly lower intrarenal expression of leukocyte chemoattractants. Mast cell-deficient mice reconstituted with mast cells from wild-type mice exhibited similar cisplastin-induced renal damage and serum levels of TNF as wild-type mice. In contrast, mast cell-deficient mice reconstituted with mast cells from TNF-deficient mice continued to demonstrate significant attenuation of cisplatin-induced renal injury. Furthermore, the mast-cell stabilizer sodium chromoglycate also significantly abrogated renal injury in this model of AKI. Taken together, these results suggest that mast cells mediate AKI through the production of TNF.