Trapadil (Mochida Pharmaceuticals, Japan), an antiplatelet drug, suppresses the growth of several cell types and is thought to antagonize platelet-derived growth factor. The effects of trapidil on mesangial-cell proliferation in glomerulonephritis induced by anti-thymocyte serum in Wistar rats were investigated. Control rats were treated with phosphate-buffered saline (group I); group II rats were injected with a single dose of anti-thymocyte serum (8 ml/kg body weight), and group III rats were treated with both a single dose of anti-thymocyte serum (8 ml/kg body weight) and with trapidil (5 mg/kg body weight/day). Three rats in each group were killed on day 3, and the other three on day 10. Control rats showed no significant histological changes on day 3 or day 10. In group II, on day 3, there was a marked decrease in glomerular cell numbers, with mesangiolysis. Histologically severe mesangial-cell proliferation with expansion of mesangial areas was noted on day 10. None of the rats in group III showed mesangial alterations, histologically, indicating that mesangial-cell proliferation was suppressed by trapidil. This suppression may result from antagonism of the binding of platelet-derived growth factor to the specific surface receptors in the mesangial cells. Trapidil may have clinical value in the treatment of mesangial-cell proliferative glomerular diseases.