Adriamycin is one of the most effective and useful antineoplastic agents. Acute doxorubicin cardiotoxicity involved cardiomyocyte apoptosis. In this study, we investigated whether adriamycin induced myocardium apoptosis through activation of nuclear factor κB in rat. Forty male Wistar rats were randomly divided into five groups: control, ADR 5 mg/kg, ADR 10 mg/kg, ADR 15 mg/kg group and ADR + PDTC 200 mg/ml group. Myocardial apoptosis was detected by DNA fragmentation assay and TUNEL assay; Location and distribution of p-IκBα was observed by immunohistochemical assay; Myocardial expression of p-IκBα protein was assessed by Western blot analysis; Activity of NF-κB was evaluated by Electrophoretic Mobility Shift Assay. The myocardial apoptotic index, expression of p-IκBα, and binding activity of NF-κB increased significantly in ADR groups in dose-dependent manner. PDTC as a nonspecific inhibitor of NF-κB protected myocardium from apoptosis by inhibiting NF-κB activation. Adriamycin induces myocardium apoptosis through activation of nuclear factor κB in rat and NF-κB activation requires IκBα degradation.