The effects of a single intraperitoneal injection of methylglyoxal (50-800 mg/kg body wt.) in mice were investigated in the liver after 24 h. The administration of methylglyoxal (400 mg/kg body wt.) resulted in an increase in aniline hydroxylase activity in liver microsomes. At the same time an accumulation of p-amino-phenol, the hydroxylated product of aniline, was observed in isolated hepatocytes upon addition of aniline similarly to conditions (starvation, diabetes mellitus, pyrazole pretreatment) when aniline hydroxylase was induced. Methylglyoxal also decreased the reduced glutathione content in the liver, while the activity of serum glutamate pyruvate transaminase was increased, suggesting the onset of liver injuries. It is assumed that the increased oxidation of aniline hydroxylase combined with decreased glutathione levels after methylglyoxal treatment favours the formation of potentially hazardous phenol derivatives in the liver.