Diazinon, an organophosphate insecticide has been used in agriculture and domestic for several years. The aim of present study was to analyze the hepatotoxic effect of diazinon which caused biochemical and ultrastructural changes in adult male Wistar rats and to evaluate the possible protective effect of vitamin E. Vitamin E (200 mg/kg, twice a week), diazinon (10 mg/kg per day, once a day in corn oil) and vitamin E (200 mg/kg, twice a week) + diazinon (10 mg/kg per day, once a day in corn oil) combination were given to rats (n = 8) orally via gavage for 7 weeks. Biochemical indices in serum [total protein, albumin, alkaline phosphatase (ALP), alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), total cholesterol, triglyceride and low density lipoprotein cholesterol (VLDL-cholesterol)] and ultrastructural changes were investigated at the end of the 1st, 4th and 7th weeks comparatively with control group (n = 8). It was observed that; at the end of 1st week, there was a statistically significance in all parameters except total protein and albumin, and at the end of 4th and 7th weeks, there was a statistically significance in all parameters when diazinon-treated group compared to control group (P<0.01). At the end of 1st week, ALP, ALT, total cholesterol and triglyceride, at the end of 4th week, all parameters except VLDL-cholesterol, at the end of 7th week, all parameters were statistically significant when vitamin E+diazinon-treated group compared with diazinon-treated group (P<0.01). In our electron microscopic investigations, while swelling of mitochondria and breaking up of the mitochondrial cristae of hepatocytes in diazinon-treated groups were observing, no pathological findings were observed in vitamin E + diazinon-treated groups. We conclude that vitamin E decreases diazinon hepatotoxicity, but vitamin E does not protect completely. (C) 2005 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.