The aim of this study was to investigate the possible protective role of antioxidant treatment with syringic acid (SA) on L-arginine-induced acute pancreatitis (AP) using biochemical and histopathologic approaches. A total of 30 rats were divided into 3 groups. The control group received normal saline intraperitoneally. The AP group was induced by 3.2 g/kg body weight L-arginine intraperitoneally, administered twice with an interval of 1 hour between administrations. The AP plus SA group, after having AP induced by 3.2 g/kg body weight L-arginine, was given SA (50 mg kg(-1)) in 2 parts within 24 hours. The rats were killed, and pancreatic tissue was removed and used in biochemical and histopathologic examinations. Compared with the control group, the mean pancreatic tissue total oxidant status level, oxidative stress index, and lipid hydroperoxide levels were significantly increased in the AP group, being 30.97 +/- 7.13 (P < 0.05), 1.76 +/- 0.34 (P < 0.0001), and 19.18 +/- 4.91 (P < 0.01), respectively. However, mean total antioxidant status and sulfhydryl group levels were significantly decreased in the AP group compared with the control group, being 1.765 +/- 0.21 (P < 0.0001) and 0.21 +/- 0.04 (P < 0.0001), respectively. SA reduces oxidative stress markers and has antioxidant effects. It also augments antioxidant capacity in L-arginine-induced acute toxicity of pancreas in rats.