Oxidative stress has been shown to contribute to the development of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). MicroRNAs (miRNA) are small non-coding RNA molecules that function in RNA silencing and post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression. We showed miR-17-3p to be elevated in macular RPE cells from AMD patients and in ARPE-19 cells under oxidative stress. Transfection of miR-17-3p mimic in ARPE-19 induced cell death and exacerbated oxidative lethality that was alleviated by miR-17-3p inhibitor. The expression of antioxidant enzymes manganese superoxide dismutase (MnSOD) and thioredoxin reductase-2 (TrxR2) were suppressed by miR-17-3p mimic and reversed by miR-17-3p inhibitor. These results suggest miR-17-3p aggravates oxidative damage-induced cell death in human RPE cells, while miR-17-3p inhibitor acts as a potential protector against oxidative stress by regulating the expression of antioxidant enzymes.