The present study was undertaken to investigate the involvement of nitric oxide in the augmentation of benzo(a)pyrene induced cellular injury in polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMNs). Polymorphs were isolated from the blood collected from Wistar rats treated with and without benzo(a)pyrene (50mg/kg, i.p.) through cardiac puncture. Catalase, superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione-s-transferase (GST), myeloperoxidase (MPO) and nitrite content were estimated in PMNs using standard procedures. Inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and cytochrome P-4501A1 (CYP1A1) expression in PMNs were also analyzed in presence or absence of nitric oxide synthase (NOS) inhibitors, aminoguanidine (AG, 5mM) and L-NG nitro L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME, 1mM). A significant augmentation was observed in the nitrite content, activities of superoxide dismutase, MPO and GST and the expressions of iNOS and CYP1A1, however, catalase activity was attenuated in PMNs of benzo(a)pyrene treated rats as compared with their respective controls. AG and L-NAME resulted in a significant attenuation in nitrite content, MPO activity and iNOS expression; however, no significant alteration was observed in CYP1A1 expression. CYP1A1 inhibitor alpha-naphthoflavone inhibited the expression of iNOS in PMNs of benzo(a)pyrene treated animals significantly. The results obtained thus suggest that CYP1A1 induces iNOS expression leading to the generation of endogenous nitric oxide (NO) that could be responsible for the augmentation of myeloperoxidase-mediated benzo(a)pyrene-induced injury in PMNs.