Bleomycin-induced lung fibrosis in mice reproduces some key features of pulmonary fibrosis in humans including alveolar inflammation, myofibroblast proliferation, and collagen deposition. Glucocorticoids have been used as first-line therapy for the treatment of lung fibrosis, although their clinical efficacy is equivocal. We examined the effect of the glucocorticoid, methylprednisolone (MP), and the estrogen metabolite, 2-methoxyestradiol (2MEO) on bleomycin-induced bronchoalveolar inflammation, fibrosis, and changes in lung function. The characterization of the time-course of the bleomycin-induced fibrosis indicated that lung dry mass and hydroxyproline content showed less variance than histopathological assessment of fibrosis. The bleomycin-induced increases in bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid cell number and protein levels were not significantly influenced by treatment with either MP (1 mg.(kg body mass)(-1).day(-1), i.p.) or 2MEO (50 mg.(kg body mass)(-1).day(-1), i.p.). Lung fibrosis, measured histopathologically or by hydroxyproline content, was not significantly influenced by either MP or 2MEO treatment, whereas the latter agent did reduce the increment in lung dry mass. The enlargement of alveolar airspaces and the decline in lung compliance were exacerbated by MP treatment. These data suggest that bleomycin-induced pulmonary fibrosis is resistant to inhibition by concurrent treatment with either glucocorticoids or 2MEO.