Glutamate-induced excitotoxicity has been implicated in the pathogenesis of various neurological damages and disorders. In the brain damage of immature animals such as neonatal hypoxic-ischemic brain injury, the excitotoxicity appears to be more intimately involved through apoptosis. Bax, a member of the Bcl-2 family proteins, plays a key role in the promotion of apoptosis by translocation from the cytosol to the mitochondria and the release of apoptogenic factors such as cytochrome c. Recently, Bax-inhibiting peptide (BIP), a novel membrane-permeable peptide which can bind Bax in the cytosol and inhibit its translocation to the mitochondria, was developed. To investigate the possibility of a new neuroprotection strategy targeting Bax translocation in glutamate-induced neuronal cell death, cerebellar granule neurons (CGNs) were exposed to glutamate with or without BIP. Pretreatment of CGNs with BIP elicited a dose-dependent reduction of glutamate-induced neuronal cell death as measured by MTT assay. BIP significantly suppressed both the number of TUNEL-positive cells and the increase in caspases 3 and 9 activities induced by glutamate. In addition, immunoblotting after subcellular fractionation revealed that BIP prevented the glutamate-induced Bax translocation to the mitochondria and the release of cytochrome c from the mitochondria. These results suggest that agents capable of inhibiting Bax activity such as BIP might lead to new drugs for glutamate-related diseases in the future.