Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the most common cancers, which may lead to death. Menadione shows cytotoxic activity thought affecting redox cycling in cancer cells. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of menadione on rat hepatocellular carcinoma (H4IIE) cell morphology, cytotoxicity, apoptosis and DNA damage or repair in vitro. Cell morphology evaluated by microscopy and cell viability was determined using the 3-[4,5-dimethylthiazol-2yl]-diphenyltetrazolium bromide test. Apoptotic cell death was assessed in H4IIE cells treated with menadione by 4',6-diamidino-2-phenylindole staining. Quantitative real time polymerase chain reaction used to determine the expression level of poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase 1 (PARP1) gene. According to the results of this study menadione has got a cytotoxic activity (IC50 25 A mu M) and change the cell fate in H4IIE cells. Menadione treatments lead to PARP1 activation in a dose dependent manner and induce DNA damage and apoptosis, and this may suggest its use as a therapeutic agent in HCC treatment.