Changes in reduced glutathione (GSH) and pyridine nucleotide phosphate levels as well as in the activities of the glutathione peroxidase-reductase system and glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase have been studied in rats after a single i.p. administration of various doses of valproic acid (VPA). GSH level decreased in a dose-dependent relation. At the end of 180 min GSH levels either returned to control limits (lower doses) or showed a tendency to normalize (higher doses). GSH loss was paralleled by the reduction in glutathione reductase activity. A significant NADPH reduction was also seen after animal exposure to high VPA doses. At the end of 180 min a maximal NADPH decrease was reached. The activities of both glutathione peroxidase and glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase were suppressed irrespective of whether animals were given low or high VPA doses.