Arachidonate metabolism in bronchial mucosa was investigated. Bronchial biopsies from four asthmatics and three non-asthmatic controls were challenged with 300, 465, 650 and 960 mOsm/kg saline in the presence of [3H]arachidonate. Supernatants were analysed by reverse-phase high-performance liquid chromatography. The major arachidonate metabolite was identified as 15-monohydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid (15-HETE), with significantly higher production in biopsies from asthmatics than controls. Statistical analysis of the full model explained 81% of the variation (F = 14.8; df = 6, 21; P less than 0.001). Hyperosmolarity and the presence of sarcoid had no significant effect on 15-HETE synthesis, reducing R2 by only 6%.