Renal ischemia-reperfusion injury plays a key role in renal transplantation and greatly affects the outcome of allograft. Our previous study proved that Baicalin, a flavonoid glycoside isolated from Scutellaria baicalensis, protects kidney from ischemia-reperfusion injury. This study aimed to study the underlying mechanism in vitro. Human renal proximal tubular epithelial cell line HK-2 cells were stimulated by H 2O 2 with and without Baicalin pretreatment. The cell viability, apoptosis and oxidative stress level were measured. The expression of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress hallmarks, such as binding immunoglobulin protein (BiP) and C/EBP homologous protein (CHOP), were analyzed by western blot and real-time PCR. NF-E2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) expression was also measured. In the H 2O 2 group, cell viability decreased and cell apoptosis increased. Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) and Glutathione/Oxidized Glutathione (GSH/GSSG) analysis revealed increased oxidative stress. ER stress and Nrf2 signaling also increased. Baicalin pretreatment ameliorated H 2O 2-induced cytotoxicity, reduced oxidative stress and ER stress and further activated the anti-oxidative Nrf2 signaling pathway. The inducer of ER stress and the inhibitor of Nrf2 abrogated the protective effects, while the inhibitor of ER stress and the inducer of Nrf2 did not improve the outcome. This study revealed that Baicalin pretreatment serves a protective role against H 2O 2-induced cytotoxicity in HK-2 cells, where the inhibition of ER stress and the activation of downstream Nrf2 signaling are involved.