Reactions of linoleate (and presumably other unsaturated fatty acids) with reactive nitrogen species that form in biological systems from secondary reactions of .NO yield two main nitration product groups, LNO2 (formed by ONOO-, .NO2, or NO2+ reaction with linoleate), and LONO2 (formed by HONO reaction with 13(S)-HPODE, or .NO termination with LOO.). Comparison of HPLC retention times and m/z for lipid nitration products indicate that the mechanisms of nitrated product formation converge at several points: (i) The initial product of HONO attack on LOOH will be LOONO, which is identical to the initial termination product of LOO. reaction with .NO. (ii) Dissociation of LOONO to give LO. and .NO2 via caged radicals, which recombine to give LONO2 (m/z 340) will occur, regardless of how LOONO is formed (Fig. 7). (iii) In some experiments, the reaction of O2- (where oxidation is initiated by xanthine oxidase-derived O2- production and metal-dependent decomposition of H2O2) with .NO will result in generation of ONOO-. Nitration of unsaturated lipid by this species will yield a species demonstrated herein to be LNO2. Lipid oxidation leads to formation of bioactive products, including hydroxides, hydroperoxides, and isoprostanes. In vivo, nitrated lipids (LNO2, LONO2) may also possess bioactivity, for example through eicosanoid receptor binding activity, or by acting as antagonists/competitive inhibitors of eicosanoid receptor-ligand interactions. In addition, nitrated lipids could mediate signal transduction via direct .NO donation, transnitrosation, or following reductive metabolism. Similar bioactive products are formed following ONOO- reaction with glucose, glycerol, and other biomolecules.