In this study, the effects of carbendazim on the thymus in male rats were evaluated. Carbendazim was administered at 0, 150, 300 and 600 mg kg(-1) day(-1) doses by gavage to male rats for 15 weeks. Body weights of rats in all groups were recorded weekly during treatment. At the end of the experiment, the effects of carbendazim on the thymus were investigated histopathologically and morphologically. Also, based on these effects, change in immunolocalization of fibronectin (FN), which is a component of the extracellular matrix, was investigated immunohistochemically. Fibrosis and oedema were observed in the thymus of rats treated with 300 and 600 mg kg(-1) day(-1) doses of carbendazim. Also in this region, an increase in FN density was noted at the end of the immunohistochemical investigation. A decrease was observed in absolute and relative thymus weights of rats treated with carbendazim compared with the control group. While the decrease in absolute thymus weight was statistically significant in rats exposed to carbendazim at the highest dose, the decrease in relative thymus weights was statistically significant for all carbendazim doses. Copyright (c) 2004 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.