The aim of this study was to evaluate the possible protective effects of caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE) against cholestatic oxidative stress and liver damage in the common bile duct ligated rats. A total of 18 male Sprague-Dawley rats were divided into three groups: control, bile duct ligation (BDL) and BDL + received CAPE; each group contain 6 animals. The rats in CAPE treated groups were given CAPE (10 mu mol/kg) once a day intraperitoneally (i.p) for 2 weeks starting just after BDL operation. The changes demonstrating the bile duct proliferation and fibrosis in expanded portal tracts include the extension of proliferated bile ducts into lobules, inflammatory cell infiltration into the widened portal areas were observed in BDL group. Treatment of BDL with CAPE attenuated alterations in liver histology. The proliferating cell nuclear antigen and the activity of TUNEL in the BDL were observed to be reduced with the QE treatment. The application of BDL clearly increased the tissue hydroxyproline (HP) content, malondialdehyde (MDA) levels and decreased the antioxidant enzyme (superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione peroxidase (GPx)) activities. CAPE treatment significantly decreased the elevated tissue HP content, and MDA levels and raised the reduced of SOD, and GPx enzymes in the tissues. The data indicate that CAPE attenuates BDL-induced cholestatic liver injury, bile duct proliferation, and fibrosis. The hepatoprotective effect of CAPE is associated with antioxidative potential.