The aim of this study was to evaluate the antiapoptotic and proliferative activity of curcumin (Cur) on the ovarian follicles in mice exposed to whole body ionizing radiation (Rd). The mice were exposed to 8.3 gray whole body Rd, and Cur groups were given as a daily dose of 100 mg/kg of Cur for 10 days (10 days before Rd). The ovaries were collected 3 and 12 h after irradiation. To date, no such studies have been performed on antiapoptotic and proliferative activity of Cur on the ovarian follicles in mice exposed to whole body Rd. Analysis of mice ovary after exposure to Rd by terminal-deoxynucleotidyl-transferase-mediated dUTP nick end labeling showed that there were apoptotic cells both in the follicular wall and the antrum, and that the number of follicles showing early atresic features was high 3 h after Rd. On the other hand, analysis of mice ovary 12 h after exposure to Rd showed that the number of follicles containing apoptotic cells with advanced atresic features was significantly higher when compared to the 3-h Rd exposure group. The proliferating cell nuclear antigen-positive granulosa cells were decreased in association with follicular atresia. The groups given treatment were observed to have some benefit from Cur against the damage caused by Rd. The results of this study demonstrate that Cur prevents follicular atresia in Rd-induced apoptosis in ovarian follicles.