Resveratrol (3,5,4'-trihydroxy-trans-stilbene) is a polyphenolic phytoalexin that exerts cardioprotective, neuroprotective, and antioxidant effects. Recently it has been shown that obesity is associated with an increase in cerebral oxidative stress levels, which may enhance neurodegeneration. The present study evaluates the neuroprotective action of resveratrol in brain of obese (ob/ob) mice. Resveratrol was administered orally at the dose of 25 mg kg(-1) body weight daily for three weeks to lean and obese mice. Resveratrol had no effect on body weight or blood glucose levels in obese mice. Lipid peroxides were significantly increased in brain of obese mice. The enzymatic antioxidants superoxide dismutase, catalase, glutathione peroxidase, glutathione reductase, glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase and nonenzymatic antioxidants tocopherol, ascorbic acid, and glutathione were decreased in obese mice brain. Administration of resveratrol decreased lipid peroxide levels and upregulated the antioxidant activities in obese mice brain. Our findings indicate a neuroprotective effect of resveratrol by preventing oxidative damage in brain tissue of obese mice.