Magnetic circular dichroism spectra are reported for the visible and near ultraviolet spectral regions of liver microsomes from dimethylbenzanthracene-treated rats. The sequential addition of NADH, dithionite, and carbon monoxide enables us to determine contributions to the magnetic circular dichroism by cytochromes b/sub 5/ and P-450, which dominate the spectra. The magnetic circular dichroism of the microsomal preparation is compared with that of purified oxidized and reduced cytochrome b/sub 5/ from pig liver and with the camphor-complexed and camphor-free oxidized, reduced, and reduced carbonmonoxy cytochrome P-450/sub cam/ from Pseudomonas putida. The magnetic circular dichroism spectra of the membrane bound cytochrome b/sub 5/ are similar to those of the purified protein, indicating that little or no alteration in the environment of the heme occurs during the isolation procedure. The soluble bacterial cytochrome P-450/sub cam/ also appears to be a suitable model for microsomal P-450, although differences in the magnetic circular dichroism intensity are observed for the two enzymes. No effect of dimethylbenzanthracene on the magnetic circular dichroism spectra of induced compared to control rat microsomes could be observed.