A novel action of the gonadotropic hormones of the adenohypophysis on the regulation of kidney heme metabolism and cytochrome P-450 concentrations is described. The treatment of rats with cis-platinum for 7 days caused a greater than twofold increase in the microsomal cytochrome P-450 and heme concentrations in the kidney. The sodium dodecyl sulfate-gel electrophoresis of the microsomal preparation revealed increased levels of both apocytochrome P-450 and heme in the molecular weight region corresponding to cytochrome P-450. In hypophysectomized rats, similar increases in heme and the cytochrome contents in the kidney were observed. Conversely, the treatment of rats with human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) fully reversed the effect of cis-platinum on heme and cytochrome P-450 concentrations. The cellular basis of increases in concentrations of heme and the hemoprotein was explored by measuring the incorporation of [14C]glycine-labeled hemoglobin heme into the kidney microsomal heme fractions. In comparison with the control rats, the specific 14C activity of heme in microsomal fraction was not increased. Moreover, the effect of cis-platinum on kidney cytochrome P-450 appeared to be unrelated to alterations in the activities of the rate-limiting enzymes of heme biosynthesis and degradation pathways, delta-aminolevulinate synthetase, and heme oxygenase, respectively. On the other hand, ferrochelatase activity and the concentration of total porphyrins in the kidney were profoundly altered by cis-platinum treatment; a twofold increase in ferrochelatase activity and a marked reduction (40%) in the total porphyrin concentration were observed. Also, the activities of uroporphyrinogen-I synthetase and delta-aminolevulinate dehydratase were decreased in cis-platinum-treated animals. The latter effects reflect a direct inhibitory action of cis-platinum. It appears that the cis-platinum-mediated increase in the microsomal heme concentrations involves an accelerated rate of heme production as a consequence of increased ferrochelatase activity. This, in turn, could increase the production of cytochrome P-450. It is suggested that the anterior pituitary hormones control the concentration of the cytochrome P-450 in the kidney, and this process may be interrupted by cis-platinum.