The present study was conducted to determine cytotoxic effects of 4-octylphenol (4-OP) on primary cultured hepatocytes of pearl mullet (Alburnus tarichi). Lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) release, malondialdehyde (MDA) level, antioxidant enzymes [superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione peroxidase (GPx), glutathione-S-transferase (GST)] and glutathione (GSH) content were measured after 24-h exposure to 4-OP. 4-OP caused dose- and time-dependent increases in LDH release. Significant induction of MDA level and decrease in GSH content were found. SOD and GPx activities were decreased while GST activity was increased. These findings suggest that 4-OP leads to cytotoxicity by depressing antioxidant defenses in fish hepatocytes.