Male Wistar rats have been pretreated with either clofibrate or diethylhexylphthalate and the dose-dependency of induction of the microsomal, cytochrome P-452-driven fatty acid hydroxylase and peroxisomal fatty acid beta-oxidation system investigated. Both clofibrate and DEHP specifically induced (approximately 10-fold) the 12-hydroxylation of lauric acid in a dose-dependent manner and only marginally increased the associated 11-hydroxylase activity. This dose-dependent increase in fatty acid hydroxylase activity was accompanied by a similar ten-fold increase in the specific content of the cytochrome P-452 isoenzyme responsible for this activity, as assessed by an immunochemical-based ELISA method. Similarly, both clofibrate and DEHP induced the peroxisomal fatty acid beta-oxidation pathway in a dose-dependent manner. Furthermore, our results provide evidence that, after oral administration, clofibrate has a higher in vivo potency in inducing the above enzymes of fatty acid metabolism than is exhibited by DEHP. A correlation matrix analysis of the above data indicated a close association between the induction of microsomal cytochrome P-452 (and its associated fatty acid hydroxylase activity) and peroxisomal beta-oxidation enzymes, implicating a mechanistic inter-relationship between changes in fatty acid metabolising enzymes in these two hepatic subcellular organelles.