Tumor necrosis factor-α (TNFα) could cause apoptosis in hepatic tissue of d-galactosamine sensitized mice, as evidenced by the increase in the extent of DNA fragmentation. The hepatic apoptosis induced by TNFα was associated with hepatocellular damage as assessed by plasma alanine aminotransferase activity. Schisandrin B (Sch B) pretreatment at daily doses ranging from 0.5 to 2 mmol/kg for 3 days caused a dose-dependent protection against TNFα-induced apoptosis in mice. The hepatoprotection was accompanied by a parallel reduction in the extent of hepatocellular damage. The same Sch B pretreatment regimens increased hepatic Hsp70 level in a dose-dependent manner. The relevance of Sch B–induced increase in Hsp70 expression to the prevention of TNFα-triggered hepatic apoptosis remains to be elucidated.