The protective effect of Brazilian propolis and its extract Artepillin C against ferric nitrilotriacetate (Fe-NTA)-induced renal lipid peroxidation and carcinogenesis was studied in male ddY mice. Fe-NTA-induced renal lipid peroxidation leads to a high incidence of renal cell carcinoma (RCC) in mice. Administration of propolis by gastric intubation 2 h before or Artepillin C at either the same time, 2 h, or 5 h before the intraperitoneal injection of Fe-NTA (7 mg Fe/kg) effectively inhibited renal lipid peroxidation. This was evaluated from the measurement of renal thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances (TBARS) or histochemical findings of 4-hydroxy-2-nonenal (4-HNE)-modified proteins and 8-hydroxy-2'-deoxyguanosine (8-OHdG). Repeated injection of Fe-NTA (10 mg Fe/kg per day, twice a week for a total of 16 times in 8 weeks) caused subacute nephrotoxicity as revealed by necrosis and pleomorphic large nuclear cells in the renal proximal tubules, and gave rise to RCC 12 months later. A protective effect from carcinogenicity was observed in mice given propolis or Artepillin C. Furthermore, the mice given Fe-NTA only developed multiple cysts composed of precancerous lesions with multilayered and proliferating large atypical cells. Mice treated with propolis and Artepillin C also had cysts, but these were dilated and composed of flat cells. These results suggest that propolis and Artepillin C prevent oxidative renal damage and the carcinogenesis induced by Fe-NTA in mice.