Cadmium (Cd) is a serious environmental and occupational contaminant and may represent a serious health hazard to humans and other animals. Cd is reported to induce the generation of reactive oxygen species, and induces testicular damage in many species of animals. The goal of our study was to examine the anti-apoptotic and anti-oxidant effects of caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE) on Cd-induced oxidative stress, apoptosis, and testicular injury in rats. A total of 40 male Wistar albino rats were divided into four groups: control, CAPE alone, Cd-treated, and Cd-treated with CAPE; each group consisted of 10 animals. To induce toxicity, Cd (1 mg/kg body weight) was dissolved in normal saline and subcutaneously injected into rats for 30 days. The rats in CAPE-treated group were given a daily dose of 10 mu mol/kg body weight of CAPE by using intraperitoneal injection. This application was continued daily for a total of 30 days. To date, no examinations of the anti-apoptotic and anti-oxidant properties of CAPE on Cd-induced apoptosis, oxidative damage, and testicular injury in rat testes have been reported. CAPE-treated animals showed an improved histological appearance and serum testosterone levels in Cd-treated group. Our data indicate a significant reduction in the number of apoptotic cells in testis tissues of the Cd-treated group with CAPE treatment. Moreover, CAPE significantly suppressed lipid peroxidation, compensated deficits in the anti-oxidant defenses in testes tissue resulted from Cd administration. These findings suggest that the protective potential of CAPE in Cd toxicity might be due to its anti-oxidant and anti-apoptotic properties, which could be useful for achieving optimum effects in Cd-induced testicular injury.