Dimethylthiourea (DMTU), a potent hydroxyl radical scavenger, affords protection against cisplatin (CDDP)-induced acute renal failure (ARF). Since the suppression of oxidative stress and the enhancement of heat shock proteins (HSPs) are both reported to protect against CDDP-induced renal damage, we tested whether increased HSP expression is involved in the underlying mechanisms of the DMTU-induced renal protection. We examined the effect of DMTU treatment on the expression of HSPs in the kidney until day 5 following a single injection of CDDP (5 mg/kg BW). DMTU significantly inhibited the CDDP-induced increments of serum creatinine, the number of 8-hydroxyl-2'-deoxyguanosine (8-OHdG)- and terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase nick-end labeling (TUNEL)-positive tubular cells, and tubular damage score (p<0.05). CDDP significantly increased renal abundances of HO-1, HSP60, HSP72 and HSP90 at days 1, 3, and 5. DMTU significantly augmented only the expression of HSP60 expression mainly in the cytoplasm of the proximal tubular cells at days 1 and 3 in CDDP-induced ARF. DMTU also inhibited the CDDP-induced increment of Bax, a pro-apoptotic protein, in the fraction of organelles/membranes at day 3. The findings suggest that DMTU may afford protection against CDDP-induced ARF, partially through the early induction of cytoplasmic HSP60, thereby preventing the Bax-mediated apoptosis in renal tubular cells.