INTRODUCTION An early manifestation during the development of diabetes is cardiovascular damage. Studies illustrated the potential effects of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR) agonists on reduction of cardiovascular disease. In this study, we tried to delineate a possible effect of fenofibrate, a PPARalpha agonist, on coronary angiogenesis in diabetic rats. METHODS Eighteen male Wistar rats were randomly divided into three groups of control, diabetic and diabetic + fenofibrate (100 mg/kg/day) (n = 6 for all groups). Diabetes was induced by a single dose of intraperitoneal streptozotocin (55 mg/kg). After 21 days, capillary density in the myocardial tissue was evaluated by immunohistochemical staining. The results were reported as capillaries per mm2. Blood samples were taken before and after the induction of diabetes. RESULTS Diabetes was associated with reduced myocardial capillary density compared to the control group (121.71 +/- 13.32 vs. 153.78 +/- 11.08/mm2; p < 0.05). Administration of fenofibrate significantly restored angiogenesis in myocardial tissue of diabetic animals (199.98 +/- 20.54 vs. 121.71 +/- 13.32/mm2). CONCLUSION Our results supported the hypothesis regarding a possible beneficial effect of fenofibrate on coronary artery diseases in diabetic subjects.