The present study aims to investigate the possibility that inhibiting the physiological function of endothelin-1 (ET-1) by blocking its receptors would significantly decrease the nephrotoxic effect of cisplatin. Therefore the study was designed to investigate the effect of treatment with BQ-123, the selective endothelin receptor-A (ETA) blocker, and bosentan, the non-selective endothelin receptor blocker, on the cisplatin-induced structural, functional, and biochemical alterations in the rat kidney. Rats were divided into four groups: control (given a single dose of normal saline, i.p.), cisplatin (given a single dose of cisplatin, 6 mg/kg, i.p.), cisplatin+BQ-123 (1 mg/kg, i.p.), and cisplatin+bosentan (30 mg/kg, orally via gavage). Each of the two blockers was administered in two doses; 1 h before and one day after the cisplatin dose. Acute cisplatin administration resulted in significant increases in blood urea nitrogen and serum creatinine concentrations at 96 h following cisplatin injection. Increased concentrations of malondialdehyde, tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) and caspase-3, decreased nitric oxide (NO) production and superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity in kidney homogenates were observed at 96 h following cisplatin injection, in addition to a typical ‘acute tubular necrosis’ pattern. BQ-123 ameliorated the structural and functional injuries caused by cisplatin mainly via restoring SOD activity, in addition to other antioxidant parameters, NO, TNF-α and caspase-3 concentrations. This study further proves that ETA but not ETB receptors are involved in cisplatin-induced nephrotoxicity. The selective ETA antagonist BQ-123 ameliorated the cisplatin-induced deleterious effects and showed reno-protective effect against cisplatin-induced acute renal damage.