Aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) is the most potent of the mycotoxins and is widely observed in nutrition abnormalities. There are some studies suggesting oxidative stress-induced toxic changes on liver related to AFB1 toxicity. The aim of the present study was to evaluate whether antioxidant caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE) relieves oxidative stress in AFB1-induced liver injury in rat. Twenty-four male rats were equally divided into three groups. The first group was used as a control. The second group received three doses of AFB1. The three doses of CAPE were given to constitute the third group with doses of AFB1. After 10days of experiment, liver and serum samples were taken from all animals. Serum gamma glutamyl transferase (GGT), alkaline phosphatase (ALP), glutathione s-transferase (GST), nitric oxide (NO) and sulfhydryl values were higher in the AFB1 group than in control, whereas serum GGT, ALP, GST and NO values were decreased by in the AFB1+CAPE group than in AFB1 group. Liver GST, total oxidant capacity, sulfhydryl, apoptosis index and ischemia-modified albumin values were higher in the AFB1 group than in control, whereas the GST activity and apoptosis index were lower in the AFB1+CAPE group than in the AFB1 group. There were histopathological degeneration and apoptosis in hepatocytes of AFB1 group. The findings were totally recovered by CAPE administration. In conclusion, we observed that AFB1 caused oxidative and nitrosative hepatoxicity to hepatocytes in the rat. However, CAPE induced protective effects on the AFB1-induced hepatoxicity by modulating free radical production, biochemical values and histopathological alterations. Copyright (c) 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.