We examined changes in the levels of eicosanoids in blood and pulmonary lymph of anesthetized sheep undergoing acute anaphylaxis. Within 1-3 min of intravenous antigenic challenge of previously sensitized sheep, there were approximately 7-30-fold elevations in mean arterial plasma levels of thromboxane B2 and 6-ketoprostaglandin F1 alpha, respectively, as measured by RIA. Negligible changes in levels of these cyclooxygenase products were found in both nonsensitized sheep and in sensitized sheep treated with indomethacin before antigenic challenge. In contrast, no changes in levels of sulfidopeptide leukotrienes (SPLT) in pulmonary lymph were detectable by RIA during anaphylaxis in sensitized or nonsensitized sheep, but levels of SPLT in indomethacin-treated sensitized sheep increased more than fivefold above levels in lymph from both other groups of animals. The immunoreactive SPLT in lymph from indomethacin-treated sheep was accounted for as LTE4, as demonstrated by mobility on HPLC and absorbance at 280 nm. These results support the possibility that certain undesirable effects of nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs, such as cardiopulmonary reactions in aspirin-sensitive individuals, and impaired renal and cardiac function during therapy with these drugs, may be related in part to augmented synthesis of the 5-lipoxygenase pathway products, especially those of the sulfidopeptide class. Increased LT production could also limit the antiinflammatory effectiveness of these drugs in many disease states.

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