Regulation and expression of human CYP1A1 is demonstrated in transgenic mice. We have developed two transgenic mouse lines. One mouse strain (CYPLucR) carries a functional human CYP1A1 promoter (-1612 to +293)-luciferase reporter gene, and the other strain (CYP1A1N) expresses CYP1A1 under control of the full-length human CYP1A1 gene and 9 kb of flanking regulatory DNA. With CYPLucR(+/-) mice, 2,3,7,8-tetrachlordibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) and several other aryl hydrocarbon receptor ligands induced hepatocyte-specific luciferase activity. When other tissues were examined, TCDD induced luciferase activity in brain with limited induction in lung and no detectable luciferase activity in kidney. Treatment of CYP1A1N(+/-) mice with TCDD resulted in induction of human CYP1A1 in liver and lung, while mouse Cyp1a1 was induced in liver, lung, and kidney. Although induced CYP1A1/Cyp1a1 could not be detected by Western blot analysis in brains from CYP1A1N(+/-) mice, induction in brain was verified by detection of CYP1A1/Cyp1a1 RNA. The administration of TCDD to nursing mothers to examine the effect of lactational exposure via milk demonstrated prominent induction of luciferase activity in livers of CYPLucR(+/-) newborn pups with limited induction in brain. However, TCDD treatment of adult CYPLucR(+/-) mice led to a 7-10-fold induction of brain luciferase activity. Combined these results indicate that tissue-specific and developmental factors are controlling aryl hydrocarbon receptor-mediated induction of human CYP1A1.