Ochratoxin A (OTA), one of the most prevalent mycotoxins in the world, has nephrotoxic and hepatotoxic properties. Lycopene is an important carotenoid and has a high singletoxygen and free-radical scavenging capacity. This study was designed to investigate the possible protective effects of lycopene against the genotoxicity of OTA in rat tissues using the alkaline comet assay. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were used in the experiments. OTA (0.5 mg/kg b.w./day) was administered by gavage for 14 days, whereas lycopene was applied on the last 7 days or for 14 days of the feeding period, with OTA treatment. OTA caused marked increases in tail length, tail moment, and tail intensity vs. control both in the kidney and liver cells, but not in the lymphocytes. Lycopene administration alone for 7 and 14 days did not provide any significant change in DNA damage of the lymphocytes, renal and hepatic cells vs. controls. However, lycopene for both 7 and 14 days, with OTA exposure in renal and hepatic cells, supplied significant decreases in tail length, tail moment, and tail intensity vs. OTA-exposed rats. The effect of 14 days supplementation seemed to be more protective, particularly against hepatic cells. These results suggest that lycopene may protect hepatic and renal tissue from OTA-induced DNA damage. (C) 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.