Inhaled nitric oxide (iNO), with supplemental oxygen, is used in the treatment of hypoxic respiratory failure of the newborn. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that exposure of newborn rats to iNO, hyperoxia, or iNO + hyperoxia would modulate the expression of pulmonary cytochrome P450 (CYP)1A1 in relation to acute lung injury. Newborn Fischer 344 rats were maintained in room air, or exposed to iNO, hyperoxia (>95%), or iNO (20 or 40 ppm) + hyperoxia for up to 168 h, and lung injury parameters and CYP1A1 expression were studied. Animals given iNO (40 ppm) + hyperoxia were more susceptible to lung injury than those exposed to hyperoxia or iNO alone. On the other hand, animals exposed to iNO (20 ppm) + hyperoxia did not elicit lung damage. Pulmonary CYP1A1 protein and mRNA expression were induced by hyperoxia, iNO (20 or 40 ppm), or iNO (20 ppm) + hyperoxia for up to 168 h, compared with air-breathing controls. In animals given iNO (40 ppm) + hyperoxia, pulmonary CYP1A1 was enhanced at 48 h, followed by down-regulation at later time points. Immunohistochemistry experiments showed localization of CYP1A1 in the pulmonary epithelial and endothelial cells. In conclusion, because previous studies have shown beneficial effects of CYP1A1 induction in hyperoxic lung injury, our current observations showing maintenance of pulmonary CYP1A1 induction by iNO (20 ppm) + hyperoxia through the 168-h period support the hypothesis that this phenomenon may contribute to the protective effects of iNO against hyperoxic injury.