The effect of peroxidation on 5'-nucleotidase activity as well as on membrane microviscosity has been investigated in liver plasma membranes from Wistar rats. The peroxidation was performed with 100 microM H2O2 and 200 microM FeSO4 and/or with 5 mM t-butylhydroperoxide. Treatment of the membranes with these oxidizing agents resulted in an elevation of the transition temperatures of the polarization of the lipid fluorescent probes 1,6 diphenyl-1,3,5 hexatriene (DPH), 3-p-(6-phenyl) 1,3,5 hexatriene phenylpropionic acid (PA-DPH) as well as of the fluorescent thiol reagent N-(1-pyrene) maleimide (1-PM). The peroxidation resulted in a decrease of the activity of 5'nucleotidase. Our data support that the increase of membrane microviscosity of the lipid domain regulates the activity of 5'-nucleotidase.