1. Levels of immunoreactive 6-oxo-prostaglandin F (6-oxo-PGF) and thromboxane B2 (TXB2) were measured in peripheral venous plasma in a group of volunteers and non-insulin dependent diabetic patients (NIDDS). Levels of these eicosanoids were close to the limit of sensitivity of the radioimmunoassays and consequently data are reported as maximal values. Basal plasma levels of 6-oxo-PGF did not exceed 5 pg/ml in either group and maximal levels of immunoreactive TXB2 were 125 ± 14 and 128 ± 8 pg/ml for volunteers and NIDDS respectively.

2. Attempts to elicit peripheral vascular prostacyclin biosynthesis in volunteers by using forearm ischaemia produced no increase in plasma 6-oxo-PGF levels. Measurement of the combined plasma levels of 6-oxo-PGF, 13,14-dihydro-6-oxo-PGF, 13,14-dihydro-6,15-dioxo-PGF and 6-oxo-PGE1 indicated that these were also low (less than 5 pg/ml) and that failure to demonstrate increased 6-oxo-PGF levels was unlikely to have arisen from metabolism of prostacyclin to one or more of these metabolites.

3. Measurement of 6-oxo-PGF and TXB2 in peripheral venous plasma before and during chloropropamide alcohol flushing (CPAF) did not provide evidence for a role for these eicosanoids in the etiology of this phenomenon.

4. These findings point to the need for a reappraisal of studies that have described altered plasma levels of 6-oxo-PGF and TXB2 in CPAF and other pathophysiological conditions in man.

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