Levels of hepatic microsomal cytochrome P-450 were depressed by administration of estradiol-17 beta and were elevated by administration of testosterone in both male and female juvenile brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis). Treatment-associated changes in the levels of other microsomal electron transfer components in liver did not reflect the changes in cytochrome P-450 content and were also distinct from the changes in these components in kidney. Electrophoretic analysis of hepatic microsomes revealed that estradiol treatment reduced the amounts of several proteins including some heme-staining protein at 56,000 daltons, possibly containing cytochrome P-450. Hepatic microsomal benzo[a]pyrene hydroxylase and the response to 7,8-benzoflavone in vitro were affected little by steroid treatment, and ethoxyresorufin O-deethylase activity could not be detected in any of the samples. Hepatic microsomes metabolized testosterone to a suite of products including 6 beta-hydroxytestosterone (the major metabolite) and 16 beta-hydroxytestosterone, plus as many as eleven unknown metabolites. Estradiol-17 beta treatment depressed the rates of testosterone metabolism and particularly the rates of 6 beta-hydroxylase activity but did not affect 16 beta-hydroxylase activity. Both activities were largely unaffected by testosterone. The results are consistent with the idea that both androgens and estrogens regulate the levels of hepatic cytochrome P-450 in brook trout and that the effect, at least of estradiol-17 beta, involves regulation of forms that function in specific hydroxylation of testosterone. The significance of these effects and whether factors additional to steroids are involved in this regulation of hepatic cytochromes P-450 in fish remain to be established.