Drug development of a potential analgesic agent 5-n-butyl-7-(3,4,5-trimethoxybenzoylamino)pyrazolo[1,5-a]pyrimidine was withdrawn because of its limited hepatotoxic effects in humans that could not be predicted from regulatory animal or in vitro studies. In vivo formation of glutathione conjugates and covalent binding of a model compound 5-n-butyl-pyrazolo[1,5-a]pyrimidine were investigated in the present study after intravenous administration to chimeric mice with a human or rat liver because of an interesting capability of human cytochrome P450 1A2 in forming a covalently bound metabolite in vitro. Rapid distribution and elimination of radiolabeled 5-n-butyl-pyrazolo[1,5-a]pyrimidine in plasma or liver fractions were seen in chimeric mice after intravenous administration. However, similar covalent binding in liver was detected over 0.17-24 h after intravenous administration. Radio-LC analyses revealed that the chimeric mice with humanized liver preferentially gave the 3-hydroxylated metabolite and its glutathione conjugate in the plasma and liver. On the contrary, chimeric mice with a rat liver had some rat-specific metabolites in vivo. Analyses by electrophoresis with accelerator mass spectrometry of in vivo radiolabeled liver proteins in chimeric mice revealed that bioactivated 5-n-butyl-pyrazolo[1,5-a]pyrimidine bound nonspecifically to a variety of microsomal proteins including human P450 1A2 as well as cytosolic proteins in the livers from chimeric mice with humanized liver. These results suggest that the hepatotoxic model compound 5-n-butyl-pyrazolo[1,5-a]pyrimidine was activated by human liver microsomal P450 1A2 to reactive intermediate(s) in vivo in humanized chimeric mice and could relatively nonspecifically bind to biomolecules such as P450 1A2 and other proteins.