Intratracheal administration of bleomycin causes pulmonary fibrosis in hamsters. Using this model the activities of lung prolyl hydroxylase and superoxide dismutase and the accumulation of neutral salt soluble and insoluble collagens have been determined. One unit of bleomycin was injected intratracheally to hamsters, whereas control animals received an equivalent volume of sterile saline by the same route. Total lung prolyl hydroxylase activity was significantly elevated at all times following bleomycin treatment. The activity was increased as early as 2 days, peaked to a maximum value of 400% of the control at 14 days, followed by a sharp decline to 235% and 180% of the control activity at 21 and 28 days after bleomycin treatment, respectively. Except for the earliest time (2 days), lung prolyl hydroxylase specific activity was also significantly elevated at all times after bleomycin treatment. A significant increase in both total and specific activities of lung superoxide dismutase was also observed at all times after bleomycin treatment. Total activity peaked to a maximum value of 315% of the control activity at 14 days and the specific activity to a maximum value of 190% of the control at 21 days after bleomycin treatment. Thereafter, both activities declined, but were still significantly elevated over the control at 28 days after the treatment. Lung proline pool size was significantly increased at all times and attained a maximum value of 372% of the control at 14 days after bleomycin treatment. Increases in the lung prolyl hydroxylase and superoxide dismutase activities and in the proline pool size preceded the significant increases in neutral salt soluble and insoluble collagens which occurred at 7 days after bleomycin treatment and continued to be significantly elevated for the remaining period of the study.