Expression of the lysozyme gene is a marker for the differentiation of macrophages, lysozyme transcription being gradually increased during maturation. We have analyzed the fine structure and function of two macrophage-specific enhancer elements of the chicken lysozyme gene (E-2.7 kb and E-0.2 kb). Both increase their activities upon LPS induction, both contain multiple binding sites for similar or identical nuclear factors and both can be divided into two functional modules. For the E-0.2 kb enhancer we found a synergistic activity of the modules to be dependent on their distance. Binding sites for nuclear proteins within enhancer E-0.2 kb overlap substantially with the previously identified progesterone/glucocorticoid receptor binding site, which is required for steroid induction of lysozyme transcription in the oviduct.