Objective To explore the protective effect of ligustrazine on the apoptosis of PC12 cells induced by dopamine(DA) and its mechanisms. Methods Apoptosis of PC12 cell was induced by dopamine at the concentrations of 0, 0.30, 0.60 mM. Ligustrazine at the concentrations of 0, 30, 60, 90 μg/ml was added to defect the effect of ligustrazine on apotosis. The subdiploid peaks showing cell apoptosis rate were detected by flow cytometry. The cell activity was determined by MTT. Concentration of nitric oxide(NO) was determined by the Griess reaction. Results Compared with those of the control, the apoptosis rate and the level of NO induced by 0.30 or 0.60 mmol/L DA were higher, but the activity of PC12 cells was lower. Compared with those of the groups without ligustrazine, the apoptosis rate and the level of NO increased, but the cell activity decreased in a dose dependent manner. Conclusion Ligustrazine can inhibit the apoptosis induced by DA, which might be correlated with the decrease of NO production.