Tebufelone (1-[3,5-bis(1,1-dimethylethyl)-4-hydroxy-phenyl]-hex-5-yne-1-one) is an investigational ditertiary butylphenol nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug. The purpose of the present study was to assess the effects of tebufelone on hepatocyte ultrastructure and hepatic cytochromes p450 (P450s) in the beagle dog after 2 weeks of oral administration at dose levels of 0, 5, 15, 50, and 100 mg/kg/day (N = 1/sex/dose level). Hepatic tissue was obtained at necropsy for histologic, ultrastructural, and biochemical evaluation. Hepatocellular hypertrophy was observed in only a single tebufelone-treated dog (50 mg/kg). Electron microscopic evaluation, however, revealed marked dose-dependent increases in smooth endoplasmic reticulum in all of the tebufelone treatment groups. Biochemical indicators suggested that tebufelone produced mixed effects on hepatic P450s. p-Nitroanisole O-demethylase and, to a greater extent, ethoxyresorufin O-deethylase activities were decreased with increasing tebufelone dose. The precise mechanism by which tebufelone decreased ethoxyresorufin O-deethylase activity in dogs in unknown, but it was not by competitive inhibition, P450 inactivation, or reduced CYP1A expression. Tebufelone treatment increased NADPH-dependent cytochrome c reductase, total P450, and indicators of CYP2B11 (chloramphenicol covalent binding and immunochemically determined 2B11) and CYP3A12 (erythromycin N-demethylase, triacetyloleandomycin spectral complex formation, testosterone 6 beta-hydroxylase, and immunochemically determined 3A12). The largest increase in the 2B11 and 3A12 markers occurred in the 50 or 100 mg/kg treatment groups. The greatest increase in CYP2B11 markers produced by tebufelone treatment ranged from 2- to 3-fold, whereas the increase in CYP3A12 markers ranged from 5- to 10-fold. The changes in hepatic ultrastructure and increases in CYP2B11 and CYP3A12 markers produced by tebufelone in dogs are similar to that reported for phenobarbital.