This study examined the effects of chlorpyrifos in the rat erythrocyte antioxidant system and evaluated the ameliorating effects of catechin and quercetin on the oxidative damage induced by chlorpyrifos. Sexually mature male Wistar rats were given chlorpyrifos (5.4 mg/kg, 1/25 of the oral LD50), catechin (20 mg/kg), quercetin (20 mg/kg), catechin plus chlorpyrifos, and quercetin plus chlorpyrifos daily via gavage for four weeks. No statistical differences were found in the catechin-only and quercetin-only groups compared with the control group. By the end of the fourth week, chlorpyrifos alone increased the levels of malondialdehyde (MDA) and decreased superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT) and glutathione peroxidase (GPx) activities compared with the control group in rat erythrocytes. In the catechin-plus-chlorpyrifos and quercetinplus-chlorpyrifos groups, there were statistically significantly decreased MDA levels and increased SOD, CAT, and GPx activities compared with the chlorpyrifos-only group. Thus, it appears that catechin and quercetin ameliorate chlorpyrifos-induced oxidative stress in rat erythrocytes in vivo. (C) 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.