In light of the limited data concerning the role of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors in cardiac function, the aim of the present study was to determine the role of NMDA receptors in cardiac function, as well as the possible role played by the oxidative stress induced by the overstimulation of NMDA receptors in isolated rat heart. The hearts of male, Wistar albino rats (n = 24, 12 in each experimental group, BM 180-200 g) were retrogradely perfused at a constant perfusion pressure (70 cm H₂O₂), using the Langendorff technique, and cardiodynamic parameters were determined during the subsequent administration of DL-homocysteine thiolactone (DL-Hcy TLHC) alone, the combination of DL-Hcy TLHC and dizocilpine (MK-801), and MK-801 alone. In the second experimental group, the order of the administration of each of the substances was reversed. The oxidative stress biomarkers, including thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS), NO(2)(-), O(2)(-) and H₂O₂, were each determined spectrophotometrically. DL-Hcy TLHC and MK-801 depressed cardiac function. DL-Hcy TLHC decreased oxidative stress, a finding that contrasted with the results of the experiments in which MK-801 was administered first. The findings of this study were suggestive of the likely role played by NMDA receptors in the regulation of cardiac function and coronary circulation in isolated rat heart.