Isolated parenchymal hepatocytes from adult rats were frozen in media containing 10% glycerol, 10% dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO), 20% DMSO. Thus microsome-associated functions were compared in nonfrozen cells and cells frozen in each of the above cryoprotectant solutions. Freezing in DMSO maintains cytochromes P-450 and b5 and NADPH-cytochrome C reductase at levels nearer to control values than does freezing in glycerol. Cells frozen and subsequently thawed and cultured for 24 h lose a greater amount of cytochrome P-450 than do nonfrozen cultured cells. The levels of cytochrome b5 and reductase in frozen-thawed cells remain close to control values. Cell viability (trypan blue dye exclusion and percentage of attached cells) after freezing is maintained better using DMSO as a cryoprotectant. Dimethylsulfoxide protects the hepatocytes from freeze-induced damage to the extent that many viable cells attach to collagen-coated petri dishes, survive for at least 24 h, and still maintain significant levels of enzymes of importance to drug and carcinogen metabolism.