The aim of the present study was to evaluate the radioprotective effect of vitamin C on gamma-radiation-induced damage to goblet cells of the ileum. Thirty mate Wistar albino rats weighing between 250 and 300 g were randomized into the following study groups: I, control; II, single dose radiation treated; III, two dose radiation treated with a 4-day interval between doses; IV, single dose radiation treated with vitamin C; V, two dose radiation treated with vitamin C. Each group contained six animals. The rats in groups Wand V were given a daily dose of 100 mg/kg of vitamin C for 14 and 18 days, respectively. During the vitamin C administration period, the rats in group IV were exposed in the abdominal area to a gamma-ray dose of 5 Gy on day 10 and group V was exposed to same dose of radiation on days 10 and 14. Irradiation and treatment groups were decapitated 4 days after exposure to single or two dose irradiation and ileum tissues were removed for tight and electron microscopic investigation. Single or two dose gamma-irradiation caused a marked intestinal, mucosal injury in rats. Radiation produced increases in the number of goblet cells. Using transmission electron microscopy, extensions in the area between the cells, disorders in the microvilli, mitochondrial damage and endoplasmic reticulum (ER) cisternae dilatation were observed. Antioxidant treatment with vitamin C prior to irradiation provided protection against intestinal damage. (c) 2008 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.