We have previously shown that acyl-coenzyme A (CoA) hydrolase that hydrolyzes arachidonoyl-CoA (AA-CoA) to arachidonic acid (AA) and CoA is present in the cytosol of rabbit kidney medulla and that this enzyme can supply AA for prostaglandin (PG) synthesis in this region. In the present study, the existence of the acyl-CoA hydrolase-mediated pathway that supplies AA available for PG synthesis in microsomes from the kidney medulla was examined. AA-CoA (20 microM) was preincubated with the 105,000 g pellet (microsomes, 0.5 mg of protein) from the medulla for 5 min at 37 degrees C followed by incubation with the medulla microsomes (0.5 mg of protein) (the source of PG synthesizing enzymes) in the presence of hydroquinone and reduced glutathione for 5 min at 37 degrees C. The PGs formed were measured by high-pressure liquid chromatography using 9-anthryldiazomethane for derivatization. The addition of the microsomal fraction from the medulla in the preincubation mixture increased total PG formation from 3.86 to 8.70 nmol, and this stimulatory effect was somewhat weaker than that of the cytosolic fraction. On the other hand, the microsomal fraction in the kidney cortex has an extremely lower capacity to supply AA for PG synthesis than do medulla microsomes. These results suggest that, in kidney medulla, the microsomes as well as the cytosol have the potential route that supplies AA from AA-CoA for PG synthesis and that this pathway is mediated by acyl-CoA hydrolase.