OBJECTIVES: This paper presents our own rat model of the cellular brain edema, induced by water intoxication (WI). The basic principle of the model is an osmotic imbalance in the cell membrane followed by an intracellular flow of sodium and simultaneous accumulation of water leading to the subsequent increase of BBB permeability. METHODS: The usefulness of the model was tested in precisely specified conditions whose results were clearly expressed. The procedure determined both how WI induces cellular edema as well as the disturbances caused by cellular edema. RESULTS: The evidence of existing cellular edema with increased BBB permeability was proved by intracellular accumulation of intravital dye with a large molecular size; increased brain-water content was confirmed by using the dry/wet weight method and by the decrease in CT density; the elevated intracranial pressure (ICP) due to the expanding volume was determined by continuous monitoring the ICP; the structural lesions were proved by identification of the myelin disintegration; and the impaired nervous functions was demonstrated by the of open field test method. CONCLUSION: Our experimental model can help the future studies of pathophysiology of cellular brain edema and is suitable for testing neuroprotective agents.