In this study, the effects of zinc sulfate against ethanol-induced acute gastric damage in rats were investigated, morphologically and biochemically. In addition, the present investigation has demonstrated the distribution of metallothionein stimulated by zinc in gastric mucosal tissues, immunohistochemically. The gastric damage was induced by intragastric administration of I ml absolute ethanol per rat. Rats received zinc sulfate (100 mg/kg/day) for 3 consecutive days 2 hr prior to the administration of absolute ethanol. Acute ethanol exposure caused degenerative morphological changes, a decrease in metallothionein immunreactivity; an increase in lipid peroxidation (LPO) levels, and a decrease in reduced glutathione (GSH) levels in gastric mucosa. On the other hand, zinc sulfate administration to ethanol-treated rats caused a significant reduction in the histological damage, an increase in metallothionein immunreactivity, a decrease in LPO levels, and an increase in GSH levels in gastric mucosa. As a result, the present study indicates that zinc sulfate has a protective effect against ethanol-induced acute gastric damage. In addition, we might say that the zinc given as exogenous protection against acute gastric damage has a protective effect both by stimulation of metallothionein synthesis and through GSH as well as having antioxidative potential.