Background: Radiation enteritis is a significant clinical problem in patients receiving ionizing radiation directed at the abdomen or pelvis. The small intestine is the most radiosensitive gastrointestinal organ. Myeloperoxidase (MPO) activity and malondialdehyde (MDA) levels of the small intestine were measured to determine the oxidative damage caused by radiation. In addition, caspase-3 activity of the small intestine was measured to define the degree of apoptosis. The present study was undertaken to investigate the effect of glutamine administration on heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) expression of the radiation enteritis model.