Experiments were designed to determine whether changes in pulmonary artery function could be reduced by treatment with a lipid peroxidation inhibitor (H 290/51) during acute rejection of pulmonary allografts. Single lung transplantation was performed in three groups of dogs: group 1 was maintained on immunosuppression for 8 days after operation (immunosuppressed, n = 5); in group 2, immunosuppression was discontinued on postoperative day 5, so that rejection occurred on postoperative day 8 (rejecting, n = 6); in group 3, immunosuppression was discontinued after 5 days, and the lipid peroxidation inhibitor H 290/51 (25 mg/kg) was given perorally for 3 days (rejecting + H 290/51, n = 6). Plasma nitric oxide (NO(x)) was measured by use of chemiluminescence. On postoperative day 8 rejection was observed in groups 2 and 3. Contractions to angiotensin I and endothelium-dependent relaxations to adenosine diphosphate were reduced in pulmonary arteries from rejecting lungs. Responses of rings from dogs treated with H 290/51 were similar to those from rejecting lungs. Rejection did not alter relaxations to exogenous nitric oxide. However, plasma levels of NO(x) increased significantly during rejection independently of treatment with H 290/51. Results of this study confirm that endothelium-dependent relaxation of pulmonary arteries is reduced during acute rejection of lung allografts. The result extends these observations to suggest that treatment with a lipid peroxidation inhibitor neither protects the pulmonary artery function nor affects levels of circulating NO(x). Therefore mechanisms other than lipid peroxidation participate in vascular changes associated with allograft rejection.