The mutagenicity of 1-nitropyrene metabolites from rabbit lung S9 incubates was evaluated using the Salmonella typhimurium plate incorporation assay with strain TA98, with and without Aroclor-induced rat liver S9. The following metabolites were isolated, identified and quantitated by HPLC: 1-nitropyrene -4,5 or -9,10-dihydrodiol (K-DHD), N-acetyl-1-aminopyrene (NAAP), 1-aminopyrene (1-AMP), 10-hydroxy-1-nitropyrene, 4-, 5-, 8- or 9-monohydroxy-1-nitropyrene (phenols) and 3-hydroxy-1-nitropyrene. The predominant metabolites formed by lung S9 incubates were K-DHD, 3-OH-1-nitropyrene and phenols. All of the metabolites were mutagenic in the absence of the exogenous rat liver S9 metabolic activation system, and several, including two unidentified metabolites were more potent than the parent 1-nitropyrene. The mutagenicity of 3 of the metabolites (NAAP, 10-OH-1-nitropyrene and phenols) were enhanced by S9 while most of the other metabolites were less mutagenic in the presence of S9. These results indicate that lung tissue is capable of both oxidative and reductive metabolism which produced mutagenic metabolites, several of which were more potent than the parent compound, 1-NP.