We tested the hypothesis that simultaneous inhibition of TxA2 synthase and blockade of TxA2/PHG2 receptors is more effective in enhancing thrombolysis and preventing reocclusion after discontinuation of tissue plasminogen activator (t-PA) than either intervention alone. Coronary thrombosis was induced in 35 dogs by placing a copper coil into the left anterior descending coronary artery. Coronary flow was measured with a Doppler flow probe. 30 min after thrombus formation, the animals received saline (controls, n = 10); SQ 29548 (0.4 mg/kg bolus + 0.4 mg/kg per h infusion), a TxA2/PGH2 receptor antagonist (n = 8); dazoxiben (5 mg/kg bolus + 5 mg/kg per h infusion), a TxA2 synthase inhibitor (n = 9); or R 68070 (5 mg/kg bolus + 5 mg/kg per h infusion), a drug that blocks TxA2/PGH2 receptors and inhibits TxA2 synthase (n = 8). Then, all dogs received heparin (200 U/kg) and a bolus of t-PA (80 micrograms/kg) followed by a continuous infusion (8 micrograms/kg per min) for up to 90 min or until reperfusion was achieved. The time to thrombolysis did not change significantly in SQ 29548-treated dogs as compared with controls (42 +/- 5 vs. 56 +/- 7 min, respectively, P = NS), but it was significantly shortened by R 68070 and dazoxiben (11 +/- 2 and 25 +/- 6 min, respectively, P less than 0.001 vs. controls and SQ 29548-treated dogs). R 68070 administration resulted in a lysis time significantly shorter than that observed in the dazoxiben-treated group (P less than 0.01). Reocclusion was observed in eight of eight control dogs, five of seven SQ 29548-treated dogs, seven of nine dazoxiben-treated dogs, and zero of eight R 68070-treated animals (P less than 0.001). TxB2 and 6-keto-PGF1 alpha, measured in blood samples obtained from the coronary artery distal to the thrombus, were significantly increased at reperfusion and at reocclusion in control animals and in dogs receiving SQ 29548. R 68070 and dazoxiben prevented the increase in plasma TxB2 levels, whereas 6-keto-PGF1 alpha levels were significantly increased with respect to control and SQ 29548-treated dogs. Thus, simultaneous inhibition of TxA2 synthase and blockade of TxA2/PGH2 receptors is more effective than either intervention alone in this experimental model in enhancing thrombolysis and preventing reocclusion after t-PA administration.