The present study is designed to investigate the effect of myocardial preconditioning with oxidative stress induced by pyrogallol or H2O2, on ischaemia-reperfusion induced myocardial injury. Isolated perfused rat heart was subjected to global ischaemia for 30 min followed by reperfusion for 120 min. Coronary effluent was analysed for LDH and CK release to assess the degree of cardiac injury. Myocardial infarct size was estimated macroscopically using TTC staining. Four episodes of preconditioning induced by pyrogallol or hydrogen peroxide (H2O) or ischaemia markedly reduced LDH and CK release in coronary effluent and decreased myocardial infarct size. Administration of polymyxin B, a protein kinase C (PKC) inhibitor, during pyrogallol, H2O2 or ischaemic preconditioning markedly attenuated the cardioprotective effect of preconditioning produced with oxidative stress or ischaemia. These results suggest that preconditioning with oxidative stress may provide cardioprotection similar to ischaemic preconditioning, against ischaemia-reperfusion injury and this cardioprotective effect may be mediated through activation of PKC.