We previously demonstrated that caspase-3, an executioner of apoptosis, is activated in the pressure-induced apoptosis of murine erythroleukemia (MEL) cells (at 100 MPa). Here, we examined the pathway of caspase-3 activation using peptide substrates and caspase inhibitors. Using the substrates of caspases-8 and -9, it was found that both are activated in cells under high pressure. The production of nuclei with sub-G1 DNA content in 100 MPa-treated MEL cells was suppressed by inhibitors of caspases-8 and -9, and pan-caspase. In 100 MPa-treated cells, pan-caspase inhibitor partially prevented the cytochrome c release from the mitochondria and the breakdown of mitochondrial membrane potential. These results suggest that the intrinsic and extrinsic pathways are activated in apoptotic signaling during the high pressure-induced death of MEL cells.