Carnosine (beta-alanyl-l-histidine) is a dipeptide with antioxidant properties. Oxidative damage by free radicals is one of the mechanisms underlying the aging process. This study was done to investigate the effects of carnosine treatment on lipid peroxidation and antioxidant status of liver, heart, brain in male young and aged rats. At the initiation of study, young and aged rats were 5 and 22 months old, respectively. Carnosine (250 mg/kg, daily, i.p.) was administered for 1 month to rats. At the end of this period, malondialdehyde (MDA) and diene conjugate (DC) and protein carbonyl (PC) levels, glutathione (GSH), vitamin E and vitamin C levels and Cu,Zn-superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) and glutathione transferase (GST) activities were determined in tissues of carnosine-treated young and old rats. Liver and heart, but not brain MDA and DC levels increased significantly in aged rats as compared to young rats. Liver PC levels were also significantly elevated. Significant decreases in GSH and vitamin C levels and SOD activities were detected in liver of aged rats, but vitamin E levels and GSH-Px and GST activities remained unchanged. Non-enzymatic and enzymatic antioxidants did not change in heart and brain of aged rats. Carnosine treatment decreased high MDA, DC and PC levels and caused significant increases in vitamin E level and SOD activity in the liver of aged rats. There were no changes in non-enzymatic and enzymatic antioxidants in the heart and brain of carnosine-treated aged rats. In conclusion, carnosine treatment was found to be useful in the decrease of age-related oxidative stress in the liver.