This study investigated the possible protective effects of melatonin as an antioxidant against streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic liver injury in rats. Wistar rats were divided into four groups: untreated control (UC), melatonin-treated control (MC), untreated diabetic (UD), and melatonin-treated diabetic (MD). Experimental diabetes was induced by a single-dose (60 mg/kg, intraperitoneally (ip)) STZ injection, and metatonin was injected (200 wg/kg/day, ip) for 4 weeks. Upon light and electron microscopic examination, we observed that metatonin improved the morphological and histopathological changes of the liver caused by diabetes. Malondialdehyde levels in the liver homogenates of UD rats were higher than those of controls and were markedly reduced after melatonin treatment. Although no significant difference was observed with respect to antioxidant status, the superoxide dismutase activity tended to be higher in the UD rats than in the treated rats. Our findings showed that metatonin administration partially reduced liver injury in STZ-induced diabetic rats. (C) 2006 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.