Pteropodine is a heterohimbine-type oxindole alkaloid specifically isolated from 'Cat's claw' (Uncaria tomentosa), a plant that has shown cytostatic, anti-inflammatory and antimutagenic properties and is used in traditional medicine to cure a number of diseases. In this report, we studied the ability of pteropodine to decrease the rate of sister-chromatid exchanges and micronucleated polychromatic erythrocytes in mice administered doxorubicin. We also determined its capacity to induce lymphocyte production in mice as well as its free radical scavenging potential by applying the DPPH assay. We found pteropodine (100-600 mg/kg) to significantly decrease the frequency of sister-chromatid exchanges and micronucleated polychromatic erythrocytes in mice administered with 10 mg/kg of doxorubicin. Furthermore, we determined that pteropodine partially corrected bone marrow cytotoxicity induced by doxorubicin, as it showed an improvement in the rate of polychromatic erythrocytes. Besides, 600 mg/kg of pteropodine increased 25.8% of the production of lymphocytes over the control value along a 96-hr assay, and it exhibited a strong capacity to trap the DPPH-free radical (98.26% with 250 microg/ml). Our results establish that pteropodine is an effective antimutagen in the model used, and suggest that pteropodine deserves further research in the area of cell protective potential and its mechanism of action.