OBJECTIVE : While cisplatin is an effective chemotherapeutic agent, it can cause irreversible hearing loss. Ototoxicity leads to dose reduction during the cisplatin chemotherapy and results in inadequate treatment of malignant tumors. This study aimed to investigate the protective effects of ferulic acid on cisplatin-induced ototoxicity. METHODS : House Ear Institute-Organ of Corti 1 (HEI-OC1) cells were exposed to 30 μM of cisplatin for 24 h with or without pretreatment with ferulic acid. Cell viability was determined using the WST assay. Apoptotic cells were identified using TUNEL assay. Western blot analysis was performed to examine the change in expression of cleaved caspase, cleaved poly-ADP-ribose polymerase (PARP), nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2), and catalase. Intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) were determined by flow cytometry. Real-time PCR analyses were performed to examine the mRNA levels of antioxidant enzymes including glutamate-cysteine ligase catalytic subunit (Gclc), glutathione peroxidase 2 (Gpx2), catalase, and superoxide dismutase 2 (SOD2). Phalloidin staining of the organ of Corti was performed to determine hair cell survival or degeneration. RESULTS : Pretreatment with ferulic acid before cisplatin exposure significantly increased cell viability, levels of antioxidant enzymes, and hair cell survival. In addition, pretreatment with ferulic acid significantly reduced apoptotic cells, levels of cleaved caspase, levels of cleaved PARP, and intracellular ROS production. CONCLUSIONS : Our results demonstrated that ferulic acid inhibited cisplatin-induced cytotoxicity by preventing ROS formation and inducing the production of endogenous antioxidants and indicated that ferulic acid might be used as a protective agent against cisplatin-induced ototoxicity.