We studied whether taurine has any regressive effect on existing atherosclerotic lesions and lipid peroxidation in rabbits fed on a high-cholesterol (HC) diet. The cholesterol, triglyceride, malondialdehyde (MDA) and diene conjugate (DC) levels, as well as the aortic histopathological findings were examined in rabbits that had been fed on a cholesterol-containing diet for 8 months [0.5% cholesterol (w/w) for 3 months and subsequently 0.25% cholesterol (w/w) for 5 months], and then for a further 4 months on a normal diet with or without taurine treatment [1% (w/v) in the drinking water]. High levels of lipid and lipid peroxide induced by the HC diet were observed to decline in the plasma, liver and aorta of atherosclerotic rabbits, as well as a slight retardation in aortic atherosclerotic lesions during the regression period. Although no significant differences in the lipid and lipid peroxide levels in the plasma and aorta were found between the regressed groups with or without the taurine treatment, the extent of atherosclerotic lesions in the aorta was less in the taurine-treated regressed group than in the non-treated regressed group. However, the liver MDA and DC levels were lower in the regressed rabbits with the taurine treatment in the non-treated group. These results indicate that the taurine treatment may accelerate the regression of cholesterol-induced atherosclerotic lesions in rabbits without having any effect on the plasma and aorta lipid and lipid peroxide levels.