Cilostazol, a selective type III phosphodiesterase inhibitor, has antiplatelet and vasodilating effects. In this study, the effects of cilostazol on lipid metabolism and lipoprotein lipase (LPL) activity were studied in rats. Cilostazol was administered orally at doses of 30 or 100 mg/kg twice a day for 1-2 weeks to rats. Cilostazol decreased the serum triglyceride level in normolipidemic rats. The serum triglyceride level was reduced and HDL cholesterol level was increased by cilostazol in streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic rats. The disappearance of exogenous triglyceride was accelerated by cilostazol in normolipidemic rats. Cilostazol increased post-heparin plasma LPL activity but had no effect on hepatic triglyceride lipase activity in STZ-induced diabetic rats. Cilostazol also increased LPL activity in the heart in STZ-induced diabetic rats. These findings suggest that an increase in LPL activity is responsible for the serum triglyceride lowering and HDL cholesterol elevating effects of cilostazol in rats.