Liver ischemia-reperfusion (I/R) injury occurs in many clinical conditions, including liver surgery and transplantation. Oxygen free radicals generated during I/R reduce endogenous antioxidant systems and contribute to hepatic injury. trans-Resveratrol (trans-3,5,4′-trihydroxystilbene) is reported to have antioxidant properties. We investigated the effect of trans-resveratrol on liver injury induced by I/R. After 1 hour of ischemia, administered 5 minutes before 3 hours of reperfusion, trans-resveratrol was hepatoprotective at a low dose (0.02 mg/kg). It significantly decreased aminotransferase levels by about 40% and improved sinusoidal dilatation. trans-Resveratrol preserved antioxidant defense by preventing total and reduced glutathione depletion caused by I/R. At 0.2 mg/kg, trans-resveratrol significantly increased glutathione reductase, Cu/Zn–superoxide dismutase, and catalase activities. However, at a high dose (20 mg/kg), trans-resveratrol became prooxidant with an aggravation of liver injury evaluated by aminotransferase release and histological analysis and associated with a depletion of total and reduced glutathione levels and a decrease of antioxidant enzyme activities. In conclusion, a prereperfusion treatment by trans-resveratrol only at low doses decreases liver injury induced by I/R by protecting against antioxidant defense failure. This administration protocol could reduce liver damage during surgery or transplantation. Liver Transpl 14:451–459, 2008. © 2008 AASLD.