The oestrogenic and antioestrogenic properties of tamoxifen and its monohydroxylated (monohydroxytamoxifen) and dihydroxylated (dihydroxytamoxifen) metabolites have been investigated in the immature rat. Whether administered orally or subcutaneously, monohydroxytamoxifen was more active than tamoxifen as an antioestrogen. Dihydroxytamoxifen was less active than tamoxifen as an antioestrogen, but this derivative alone was unable to induce a uterotrophic response. Both metabolites of tamoxifen were potent inhibitors of the binding of [3H]oestradiol to oestrogen receptors in vitro. It is possible that the metabolites play a supportive role in the antioestrogenic activity of tamoxifen. The potent activity of monohydroxytamoxifen in vivo and in vitro suggests that this compound could be an important new tool for the subcellular investigation of oestrogenic and antioestrogenic events.