Cardiac injury, occurred after traumatic brain injury (TBI), has been recognized for more than a century. Bcl-2 is a key regulatory component of the mitochondrial cell death pathway, and its overexpression is cytoprotective in many cell types. The therapeutic agents, which induce the expression of bcl-2 protein, might provide a new therapy to prevent cardiac myocyte damage following TBI. In this study, we investigated whether methylprednisolone I sodium succinate (MPSS) influences the expression of bcl-2 in the heart. Wistar-Albino female rats underwent TBI (300 g/cm) generated by the weight-drop method, and were left untreated (n = 6) or treated with either MPSS (30 mg/kg) (n = 6) or vehicle (albumin solution) (n = 6). The heart was isolated from each animal with TBI. For comparison, the hearts were isolated from sham-operated (n = 6) and control rats (n = 6). The relative expression of bcl-2 mRNA in the heart was quantitated by real-time polymerase chain reaction. We also assessed lipid peroxidation in the heart tissue by determining the concentration of thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances (TBARs) as an indicator of tissue damage. The bcl-2 expression level was significantly higher in the hearts of MPSS-treated rats compared to that of other TBI groups (p < 0.0001). Moreover, TBI increased the lipid peroxidation in the heart, which was significantly reduced by the treatment with MPSS (p < 0.0001). These findings provide evidence for the efficacy of MPSS in protection of cardiac myocytes to achieve optimal heart donation after TBI in heart transplantation. (c) 2005 Tohoku University Medical Press.