The effects of vitamin A, pentoxyfylline and methylprednisolone on experimentally induced amyloid arthropathy were investigated. In this study, 175 1-day-old brown layer chicks were used. Throughout the study Group II (vitamin A) received high doses of vitamin A (75,000 IU/kg), whereas Group I (negative control), Group III (positive control), Group IV (pentoxyfylline) and Group V (methylprednisolone) received normal levels of vitamin A in the diet. At the fifth week, the experimental Groups II, III, IV and V were injected with Freund's adjuvant intra-articularly to induce amyloid arthropathy. Group IV received pentoxyfylline and Group V received methylprednisolone (10 mg/kg, intramuscularly) once. Joint and blood samples were examined 13 weeks after the injections. The values in Groups I, II, III, IV and V, respectively, were as follows: amyloid arthropathy formation (%), 0, 100, 87, 76, 66; serum amyloid A (ng/ml), 166+/-17, 607+/-40, 423+/-39, 342+/-27, 293+/-22; serum retinol (microg/dl): 59.75+/-3.8, 42.72+/-3, 59.24+/-3.6, 102+/-9.1, 101.3+/-12.3; heterophil/lymphocyte ratio: 0.504, 0.75, 0.75, 0.087, 0.44. In conclusion, it was observed that vitamin A enhanced the development of amyloid arthropathy and there were positive associations between amyloidosis, increased levels of serum amyloid A and increased numbers of tissue infiltrating macrophages. Methylprednisolone had a more successful inhibitory effect on amyloid arthropathy than pentoxyfylline.