PURPOSE: All-trans retinoic acid (ATRA) has antiproliferative effects against brain tumor cells. Recently, ATRA has been reported to induce catalase. We investigated whether catalase induction by ATRA is associated with its antiproliferative effects. MATERIALS AND METHODS: 36B10 cells were exposed to 0~50microM ATRA for 24 or 48 hours and mRNA, protein, and activity of catalase were measured. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) were measured using 2',7'-dichlorofluorescin diacetate. A clonogenic assay was used to confirm the cytotoxic effect. RESULTS: The mRNA, protein, and activity of catalase were found to increase in a concentration- and incubation-time-dependent manner. The increase in catalase activity induced by ATRA was decreased by the addition of 3-amino-1,2,4-triazole (ATZ). ROS was also increased with ATRA and decreased by the addition of ATZ. The decrease in cell survival induced by ATRA was partly rescued by ATZ. CONCLUSION: Catalase induction by ATRA is involved in ROS overproduction and thus inhibits the proliferation of 36B10 cells.