Twenty-eight rats were examined in a 5-week experiment to investigate the effect of curcumin on gene expression and activities of hepatic antioxidant enzymes in rats intoxicated with aflatoxin B1 (AFB1). The rats were divided into four groups. Rats in 1–4 groups served as control, oral curcumin treated (15 mg/kg body weight), single i.p. dose of AFB1 (3 mg/kg body weight) and combination of single i.p. dose of AFB1 with oral curcumin treated, respectively. AFB1 Liver damage and oxidative stress were evident in untreated AFB1-intoxicated rats as indicated by a significant elevation in hepatic transaminases, elevation in lipid peroxide biomarkers (thiobarbituric acid reactive substances; TBARS), reduction of reduced glutathione (GSH) concentration, reduction in the activities of antioxidant enzymes namely catalase (CAT), total superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione peroxidase (GPX) and glutathione-S-transferase (GST) and down-regulation of gene expression of these antioxidant enzymes compared to control. Liver sections of rats intoxicated with AFB1 showed a disrupted lobular architecture, scattered necrotic cells and biliary proliferation. Administration of curcumin with AFB1 resulted in amelioration of AFB1-induced effects compared to untreated AFB1-intoxicated rats via an up-regulation of antioxidant enzyme gene expression, activation of the expressed genes and increase in the availability of GSH. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.