Earlier we reported that probucol treatment subsequent to the induction of diabetes can prevent diabetes-associated changes in myocardial antioxidants as well as function at 8 weeks. In this study, we examined the efficacy of probucol in the reversal of diabetes induced myocardial changes. Rats were made diabetic with a single injection of streptozotocin (65 mg/kg, i.v.). After 4 weeks of induction of diabetes, a group of animals was treated on alternate days with probucol (10 mg/kg i.p.), a known lipid lowering agent with antioxidant properties. At 8 weeks, there was a significant drop in the left ventricle (LVSP) and aortic systolic pressures (ASP) in the diabetic group. Hearts from these animals showed an increase in the thiobarbituric acid reacting substances (TBARS), indicating increased lipid peroxidation. This was accompanied by a decrease in the myocardial antioxidant enzymes activities, superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione peroxidase (GSHPx). Myocardial catalase activity in the diabetic group was higher. In the diabetic + probucol group both LVSP and ASP showed significant recovery. This was also accompanied by an improvement in SOD and GSHPx activities and there was further increase in the catalase activity. Levels of the TBARS was decreased in this group. These data provide evidence that diabetic cardiomyopathy is associated with an antioxidant deficit which can be reversed with probucol treatment. Improved cardiac function with probucol may be due to the recovery of antioxidants in the heart.