Oxidative stress plays an important role in mediating ventricular remodeling and dysfunction in heart failure (HF), but its mechanism of action has not been fully elucidated. In this study we determined whether a combination of antioxidant vitamins reduced myocyte apoptosis, β-adrenergic receptor desensitization, and sarcoplasmic reticular (SR) Ca2+ ATPase downregulation in HF after myocardial infarction (MI) and whether these effects were associated with amelioration of left ventricular (LV) remodeling and dysfunction. Vitamins (vitamin C 300 mg and vitamin E 300 mg) were administered to rabbits 1 week after MI or sham operation for 11 weeks. The results showed that MI rabbits exhibited cardiac dilation and LV dysfunction measured by fractional shortening and the maximal rate of pressure rise (dP/dt), an index of contractility. These changes were associated with elevation of oxidative stress, decreases of mitochondrial Bcl-2 and cytochrome c proteins, increases of cytosolic Bax and cytochrome c proteins, caspase 9 and caspase 3 activities and myocyte apoptosis, and downregulation of β-adrenergic receptor sensitivity and SR Ca2+ ATPase. Combined treatment with vitamins C and E diminished oxidative stress, increased mitochondrial Bcl-2 protein, decreased cytosolic Bax, prevented cytochrome c release from mitochondria to cytosol, reduced caspase 9 and caspase 3 activities and myocyte apoptosis, blocked β-adrenergic receptor desensitization and SR Ca2+ ATPase downregulation, and attenuated LV dilation and dysfunction in HF after MI. The results suggest that antioxidant therapy may be beneficial in HF.