Exposure to air pollution containing diesel exhaust particles (DEP) is associated with an increase in mortality rate attributed to cardiovascular diseases, but the mechanisms by which DEP produces adverse cardiovascular effects at the cellular level are not elucidated. This study investigated the cytotoxic mechanisms underlying DEP-induced neonatal rat cardiac myocytes effects in vitro, focusing on the role of reactive oxygen species (ROS). DEP extracts (DEPE) damaged cells in a concentration- and a time-dependent manner. Lactate dehydrogenase activity leaked to medium was also increased in a concentration-dependent manner after 24 h of DEPE exposure. DEPE-induced cytotoxicity was markedly reduced by treatment with superoxide dismutase, catalase, and N-(2-mercaptopropionyl)-glycine. Furthermore, superoxide was produced from both DEPE and myocardial cells. These results suggest that ROS such as superoxide, hydrogen peroxide, and hydroxyl radical are involved in DEPE-induced cardiac cell damage.