In addition to cyclooxygenase and lipoxygenase, arachidonic acid (AA) is metabolized by the cytochrome P-450 monooxygenase system. The kidney is one of the major extrahepatic tissues that display cytochrome P-450 enzyme activities, in particular the cortex, specifically the proximal tubule demonstrate the highest concentration. AA is metabolized by the renal cytochrome P-450 epoxygenase and omega/omega 1 hydroxylases to epoxyeicosatrienoic acids and omega/omega-1 alcohols (20- and 19-mono-hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acids), respectively. These metabolites possess a broad spectrum of biological and renal effects which include: vasodilation, vasoconstriction, inhibition and stimulation of Na(+)-K(+)-ATPase, inhibition of ion transport mechanisms, natriuresis, inhibition of renin release and stimulation of cell growth. These metabolites are endogenous constituents of the kidney and are present in urine with increasing concentration under pathological conditions such as pregnancy-induced hypertension. The cytochrome P-450-dependent metabolism of AA is specifically localized to the proximal tubule and exhibits developmental changes, i.e., renal production of metabolites is very low in the fetus, newborn and up to 3 weeks of age, after which a remarkable increase in enzyme activities is observed. These characteristics call attention to the importance of this enzyme system in producing cellular mediators for regulating renal function in normal and diseased states.