In this study, the protective effect of amifostine, which is the only FDA-approved radioprotective agent, was investigated against the deleterious effects of ionizing radiation on rat liver microsomal membranes at molecular level. Sprague-Dawley rats, which were either administered amifostine or not, were whole-body irradiated with a single dose of 800 cGy and decapitated after 24 h. The microsomal membranes isolated from the livers of these rats were investigated using FT-IR spectroscopy. The results revealed that radiation caused a significant decrease in the lipid-to-protein ratio and the degradation of lipids into smaller fragments that contain less CH(2) and more carbonyl esters, olefinic=CH and CH(3) groups, which could be interpreted as a result of lipid peroxidation. Radiation altered the secondary structure of proteins by inducing a decrease in the beta-sheet structures and an increase in the turns and random coil structures. Moreover, a dramatic increase in lipid order and a significant decrease in the membrane dynamics were observed in the irradiated group. The administration of amifostine before ionizing radiation inhibited all the radiation induced compositional, structural, and functional damages. In addition, these results suggest that FT-IR spectroscopy provides a novel approach to monitoring radiation-induced damage on biological membranes.