The effects of water-immersion restraint (WIR) stress on lipid peroxide, glutathione (GSH), glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px), gamma-glutamylcysteine synthetase (gamma-GCS) and gamma-glutamyltranspeptidase (gamma-GT) activities in several tissues of rats were investigated. Hepatic and intestinal lipid peroxide levels were increased significantly in the WIR stress group. In both tissues, GSH levels were significantly decreased and gamma-GCS activity was significantly increased. In addition, gamma-GT activities remained unchanged in both tissues following WIR stress. However, lipid peroxide and GSH levels did not change in the stomach and brain in the WIR stress group compared to the control group. These results suggest that lipid peroxidation, but not the depression of GSH synthesis and/or the increase of GSH breakdown may be a factor in hepatic and intestinal GSH reduction following WIR stress. (C) 1996 The Italian Pharmacological Society.