Lipid peroxidation of membranes by oxygen free radicals has been implicated in various disease states. Different antioxidants and iron chelators have been used to reduce lipid peroxidation. Lazaroids have been used for the acute treatment of central nervous system disorders such as trauma and ischemia wherein lipid peroxidative processes take place. In this study we evaluated the effect of lazaroids (U-785 18F and U-74389F) on the release of acid phosphatase activity and formation of malondialdehyde (MDA) in rat liver lyosomes subjected to exogenously generated oxygen free radicals. There was a significant increase in the acid phosphatase release and MDA formation in the presence of oxygen free radicals. This was prevented by both the lazaroids. In a separate study the effect of lazaroid U-74389F was seen on the zymosan-stimulated polymorphonuclear (PMN) leukocyte-derived chemiluminescence. The PMN leukocyte chemiluminescent activity was attenuated by the lazaroid in a dose-dependent manner. These studies suggest that lazaroids may inhibit lipid peroxidation and stabilize the membrane.