There is a need to develop new and more consistent animal models of cardioprotection. Traditionally, outbred dogs, rabbits, and rats have been studied. We determined resistance to ischemia in isolated hearts from inbred strains of rats. Hearts from inbred rats: SS/Mcw (Dahl S, Dahl salt-sensitive), DA/Hsd (Dark Agouti), LEW/Hsd (Lewis), and BN/SsN/Mcw (Brown Norway); and from an outbred rat: Hsd:WIST (Wistar) were subjected to 27 min of global, no-flow ischemia, followed by 3 h of reperfusion. Infarct size in the Brown Norway rat was 2.5 times less than that observed in the Dahl S rat, with the Dark Agouti, Lewis, and Wistar rats intermediate in response. Hearts from Brown Norway rats were also most resistant to ischemia in terms of postischemic enzyme leakage and contractile and vascular function compared with other strains. The average polymorphism rate between strains revealed that such strains were genetically diverse. This study demonstrates strain differences in resistance to myocardial ischemia, suggesting these rats could be used to study a genetic and/or environmental basis for these differences and to provide new animal models for the physiological study of cardioprotection.