1. The metabolism of a substituted 2,4-thiazolidinedione (P1) with dual PPARalpha/gamma activity was evaluated in male and female rats, dogs and monkeys. A para-hydroxylated metabolite (M1) with potent PPARgamma-selective agonist, was a major circulating drug-related component in female rats, dogs and monkeys, but not in male rats (M1-to-P1 exposure ratio of <1, 3-5, 5 and 5-11 in male rat, monkey, female rat, and dog, respectively). 2. M1 (%) formed in vitro (5, 53, 57-65, 67 and 67% in male rat, monkey, female rat, dog, and human liver microsomes, respectively), rank ordered with M1 (%) formed in vivo (24-45, 53-57, 78, 75-85%, for male rat, monkey, female rat and dog, respectively, after oral administration of P1). 3. The plasma clearance of M1 was higher in male rats (32 ml min(-1) kg(-1) compared with 6, 7 and 2 ml min(-1) kg(-1) in female rat, male monkey and male dogs, respectively). 4. The low amounts of M1 observed in male rats, with the appearance of products of the cleavage of the propyl group between the phenyl groups was probably due to the presence of the sex-specific CYP2C11, which cleaves P1 at the propyl bridge. None of the CYPs present in female rats cleaved P1 at this site and M1 was only produced by CYP2C6. In humans, only CYP2C8 and the polymorphic CYP2C19 produced M1.