The relationship between vitamin A and liver fibrosis was studied with a CCl4-induced fibrosis model in rats. Depending on the time of administration, vitamin A can potentiate or reduce fibrosis: when present during CCl4-treatment parenchymal cell damage and fibrosis were enhanced, whereas vitamin A post-treatment strongly reduced fibrosis. Enhanced fibrosis was also found in rats with low hepatic retinoid levels. Administration of β-carotene during CCl4-treatment reduced several signs of fibrosis. The notion that liver retinoids play an important role in hepatic fibrogenesis is discussed.