The effects of cytotoxic monochloramine on the development of gastric cancers induced by N-methyl-N'-nitro-N-nitrosoguanidine were investigated in Wistar rats. After oral administration of drinking water containing the carcinogen and regular chow pellets for 25 weeks, rats received regular chow pellets or chow pellets containing 20% ammonium acetate, and normal tap water or water containing 30 mM sodium hypochlorite, with or without s.c. injection of taurine, until the end of the experiment in week 52. Treatment with both ammonium acetate and sodium hypochlorite significantly increased the incidence of gastric cancers in week 52, while the concomitant use of taurine with ammonium acetate and sodium hypochlorite significantly attenuated the enhanced gastric carcinogenesis. Spectrophotometric examinations revealed that taurine scavenged monochloramine. These findings suggest that Helicobacter pylori-associated gastric carcinogenesis may be mediated by monochloramine.