To clarify partly inconsistent results in gene expression of cytochromes P450 (CYP) in the circulation, we undertook a systematic study over a long time period in 19 healthy men and women. CYP specific mRNA for 1A2, 1B1, 2E1 and 3A4 was studied in the leukocytes collected repeatedly on 20 occasions over a 10-week period. Our study revealed a varying pattern of CYP expression over time. CYP3A4 specific mRNA exhibited the largest intra-individual variation with an average coefficient of variation between 40 and 250%. CYP1B1 and CYP2E1 did not vary as much (39-110%). CYP1A2 was sporadically detected in only ten individuals, but varied considerably when measurable (61-256%). The expression in CYP1B1 was significantly higher in women than in men (P = 0.02). We conclude that CYP gene expression in blood varies considerably over time. It is conceivable that the variation reflects a hitherto unknown influence of exogenous or endogenous factors such as hormones, cytokines, and other circulating factors on the hematogeneous cytochromes.