In the present study, we report the effect of vitamin A (Vit A, retinol palpitate) on kidney lipid peroxidation and 3-nitrotyrosine (3-NT) levels induced after Escherichia coli administration to guinea pigs. Vit A was administrated intraperitoneally (i.p.) to guinea pigs at a dose 15,000 IU/kg per day for 7 days prior to E. coli injection. On day 8, the animals were injected i.p. with E. coli dosed at 12 x10(9) colony forming units per kilogram. Kidneys were collected 6 h after administration of E. coli. Malondialdehyde (MDA) as a lipid peroxidation product, and 3-NT levels were measured by reverse phase high-performance liquid chromatography. There was a significant increase in MDA and 3-NT levels in lipopolysaccaharide-induced group (p < 0.001). 3-NT was not detectable in kidney of normal control animals. However, Vit A administration prior to E. coli injection prevented 3-NT formation but did not prevent the rice in MDA level of kidney (p < 0.001). Vit A alone did not alter the MDA level in the kidney of the control group.