L-663,536 (3-[1-(4-chlorobenzyl)-3-t-butyl-thio-5-isopropylindol-2-yl]-2, 2-dimethylpropanoic acid) is a potent inhibitor of leukotriene (LT) biosynthesis in intact human polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMN) (IC50, 2.5 nM). Similarly, L-663,536 inhibited A23187-induced LTB4 formation by rat peripheral blood and elicited PMN. At concentrations where inhibition of leukotriene biosynthesis occurred in human whole blood (1.1 microM), no effect was seen on cyclooxygenase or 12-lipoxygenase, an effect also observed in washed human platelets. The compound had no effect on rat or porcine 5-lipoxygenase indicating that L-663,536 is not a direct 5-lipoxygenase inhibitor. When administered in vivo L-663,536 was a potent inhibitor of antigen-induced dyspnea in inbred rats pretreated with methysergide (ED50, 0.036 mg/kg p.o.) and of Ascaris-induced bronchoconstriction in squirrel monkeys (1 mg/kg p.o.). The compound inhibited leukotriene biosynthesis in vivo in a rat pleurisy model (ED50, 0.2 mg/kg p.o.), an inflamed rat paw model (ED50, 0.8 mg/kg), a model of leukotriene excretion in rat bile following antigen provocation, and a model in the guinea-pig ear where leukotriene synthesis was induced by topical challenge with ionophore A23187 (ED50, 2.5 mg/kg p.o. and 0.6 micrograms topically). The results indicate that L-663,536 is a potent inhibitor of leukotriene biosynthesis both in vitro and in vivo indicating that the compound is suitable for studying the role of leukotrienes in a variety of pathological situations.