The aim of this study was to determine the effects of dietary antioxidant supplementation with '-tocopherol and '-lipoic acid on cyclosporine-induced alterations to erythrocyte and plasma redox balance, and cyclosporine-induced endothelial and smooth muscle dysfunction. Rats were randomly assigned to either control, antioxidant, cyclosporine or cyclosporine + antioxidant treatments. Cyclosporine A was administered for 10 days after an 8-week feeding period. Plasma was analyzed for '-tocopherol, total antioxidant capacity, malondialdehyde and creatinine. Erythrocytes were analyzed for glutathione, methemoglobin, superoxide dismutase, catalase, glutathione peroxidase, glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase, '-tocopherol and malondialdehye. Vascular endothelial and smooth muscle function was determined in vitro. Antioxidant supplementation resulted in significant increases in erythrocyte '-tocopherol concentration and glutathione peroxidase activity in both of the antioxidant-supplemented groups. Cyclosporine administration caused significant decreases in glutathione concentration, methemoglobin concentration and superoxide dismutase activity. Antioxidant supplementation attenuated the cyclosporine-induced decrease in superoxide dismutase activity. Cyclosporine therapy impaired both endothelium-independent and -dependent relaxation of the thoracic aorta, and this was attenuated by antioxidant supplementation. In summary, dietary supplementation with '-tocopherol and '-lipoic acid attenuated the cyclosporine-induced decrease in erythrocyte superoxide dismutase activity and attenuated cyclosporine-induced vascular dysfunction.