Peroxisome-proliferator responsive element (PPRE) and nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) response element have been found in the gene sequence of superoxide dismutase (SOD). This study determines the PPARs and NF-κB expression and SOD activity in damaged livers of rats with obstructive jaundice. Sprague-Dawley rats (n = 120) were randomly assigned into four groups: sham 7 days post-surgery (Sham 7), bile duct ligation (BDL) 7 days post-surgery (BDL 7), sham 19 days post-surgery (Sham 19), BDL 19 days post-surgery (BDL 19). Rats were sacrificed and blood samples and liver tissue were preserved at 7 days and 19 days postsurgery. SOD enzyme activity was detected by a commercially available kit. PPAR mRNA expression was determined by RT-PCR. PPAR protein expression and NF-κB expression and activation were determined by immunohistochemistry. Student’s t-test and Pearson correlation were employed using SPSS statistical software. Total SOD and Cu/Zn-SOD activity was decreased in the BDL groups compared with the sham group (P < 0.01). PPARs mRNA and protein expressions in the BDL groups liver were also reduced compared with the sham group (P < 0.01). Both SOD and Cu/Zn-SOD activity and PPAR expression was significantly decreased between the BDL 7 and BDL 19 groups. PPAR protein expression positively correlated with total SOD activity (P < 0.01), and negatively correlated with NF-κB p65 protein expression in the rats (P < 0.01). PPARs may play a role in liver damage in rats with obstructive jaundice through regulation of SOD and NF-κB gene expression.