A zinc-carnosine chelate compound, Z-103, attenuates gastric mucosal injuries and inhibits the increase of lipid peroxide in the gastric mucosa induced by burn shock or ischemia-reperfusion. However, the exact mechanism of the antioxidative effect of Z-103 is not clear. The antioxidant properties of a novel anti-peptic ulcer agent Z-103 in vitro were compared with those of zinc ion and L-carnosine. Z-103 scavenged superoxide anion radicals. Z-103 and ZnSO4, but not L-carnosine, inhibited the superoxide generation from polymorphonuclear leukocytes stimulated by opsonized zymosan, and also inhibited the generation of hydroxyl radicals by the Fenton reaction. The increase of lipid peroxides produced by rat brain homogenates and liver microsomes was also inhibited by Z-103 and ZnSO4. These findings indicate that the strong anti-ulcer and antioxidative actions of Z-103 in vivo are due to a combination of these antioxidant actions in vitro.