Sprague Dawley rats of both sexes were injected with either saline or RVT (10 mg/kg) either before or after acetic acid ulcer induction and decapitated 3, 5 or 10 days after ulcer. In the saline-treated ulcer groups, macroscopically evident ulcers were observed, while RVT-pretreated or RVT-treated groups had lower macroscopic ulcer scores. Likewise, the microscopic damage scores were lower for the RVT-administered groups. Gastric myeloperoxidase activity, malondialdehyde, collagen and tumour necrosis factor-alpha levels, as well as luminol- and lucigenin-enhanced chemiluminescence levels that were elevated in the saline-administered ulcer groups, were depressed with both RVT-pretreatment and RVT-treatment. Moreover, depleted glutathione levels in the ulcer groups were increased back to control levels by both pre- and post-treatments of RVT. Results demonstrate that resveratrol has both protective and therapeutic effects on oxidative gastric damage by suppressing pro-inflammatory cascades, including the activation of pro-inflammatory cytokines, accumulation of neutrophils and release of oxygen-derived free radicals.