Occlusion of the abdominal aorta was applied to adult rabbits, followed by removal of aortic clamp and reperfusion. The abdominal aortas of New Zealand White albino rabbits (n=18) were occluded for 30 minutes. Experimental groups were as follows: control group (sham operation group, n=10), Ischemia/reperfusion group (I/R) (n=10) undergoing occlusion but receiving no pharmacologic intervention, Melatonin-treated group (n=8) receiving 10mg/kg melatonin intravenously 10 minutes before ischemia. Neurologic status was assessed at 6, 24, and 48 hours after the operation. Spinal cords were harvested for histopathologic and biochemical analyses. Melatonin-treated animals had better neurologic function than those of the I/R group. Decreased tissue and serum malondialdehyde (MDA) levels and increased tissue and serum glutathione (GSH) levels were observed in melatonin-treated group (p < 0.05). In the same group tissue and serum nitrate levels were decreased (p < 0.05). Histopathologic analyses demonstrated typical morphologic changes characteristic of necrosis in I/R group. Melatonin attenuated ischemia-induced necrosis. Melatonin administration may significantly reduce the incidence of spinal cord injury following temporary aortic occlusion.