Purpose: The aim of this study was to evaluate the antioxidant role of melatonin against radiation-induced cataract in the rat lens after total cranial irradiation with a single 5 Gray (Gy) dose of gamma irradiation. Materials and methods: Twenty-eight Sprague-Dawley rats were used for the experiment.The rats were randomly divided into four equal groups. The control group did not receive melatonin or irradiation but received both 0.1ml physiological saline intraperitoneally and sham irradiation. The irradiation (IR) group received 5 Gy gamma irradiation to the total cranium as a single dose plus 0.1ml physiological saline intraperitoneally. The melatonin plus IR group received irradiation to the total cranium plus 5mg/kg/day melatonin intraperitoneally. The melatonin group received only 5mg/kg/day melatonin plus sham-irradiation. Biochemical parameters measured in murine lenses were carried out using spectrophotometric techniques. Results: Lens antioxidant capacity, as measured by levels of total superoxide scavenger activity (TSSA), non-enzymatic superoxide scavenger activity (NSSA) and glutathione reductase (GRD) activity, significantly increased in melatonin, control and melatonin plus IR groups when compared with the IR group. Lens glutathione-S-transferase (GST) activity significantly increased in control and melatonin groups when compared with the IR group. Lens malondialdehyde (MDA) levels significantly increased in the IR group when compared with control, melatonin and melatonin plus IR groups. Lens TSSA and NSSA activities significantly decreased in control and melatonin plus IR groups when compared with the melatonin group. Lens GST activity significantly increased in the control group when compared with melatonin plus IR group. Lens GRD activity significantly increased in melatonin and melatonin plus IR groups when compared with control group. Conclusions: Melatonin reduces oxidative stress markers and augments anti-oxidant capacity in the rat lens.