This study was designed to examine the oxidative stress potential of di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate (DEHP) on rat kidney and to evaluate possible protective effect of selenium (Se) status. Se deficiency (SeD) was produced in 3-week old Sprague-Dawley rats by feeding them ≤ 0.05 Se mg/kg diet for 5 weeks; Se supplementation group (SeS) was on 1 mg Se/kg diet. DEHP treated groups received 1000 mg/kg dose by gavage during the last 10 days of the feeding period. Activities of antioxidant selenoenzymes [glutathione peroxidase 1 (GPx1), glutathione peroxidase 4 (GPx4), thioredoxin reductase (TrxR)], catalase (CAT), superoxide dismutase (SOD), and glutathione S-transferase (GST); concentrations of total glutathione (GSH), thiols and thiobarbituric acid reactive substance (TBARS) levels were measured. DEHP treatment was found to induce oxidative stress in rat kidney, as evidenced by significant decreases in GPx1 (~20%) and SOD (~30%) activities and GSH levels (~20%), along with marked decrease in thiol content (~40%) and increase in TBARS (~30%) levels. The effects of DEHP was more pronounced in SeD rats, whereas Se supplementation was protective by providing substantial elevations of GPx1 and GPx4 activities and GSH levels. These findings emphasized the critical role of Se as an effective redox regulator and the importance of Se status in protecting renal tissue from the oxidant stressor activity of DEHP. © 2012 Informa Healthcare USA, Inc.