Cytochrome P450PG omega is induced in the rabbit lung in a gestational age-dependent manner and hydroxylates certain eicosanoids at their terminal, or omega (omega), carbon. This enzyme has been isolated from microsomal fractions and its activity has been characterized (Williams, D.E., et al., J. Biol. Chem. 259; 14600-14608, 1984). The experiments presented here examine the omega-hydroxylation activity of the intact lung during presentation of an eicosanoid substrate, prostaglandin E1 (PGE1), to the lung vasculature. Isolated, perfused lungs from three pregnant and four nonpregnant rabbits were injected with [3H]-PGE1. One-second fractions were collected from the perfusion effluent and were analyzed for metabolism of PGE1. Lungs isolated from pregnant rabbits metabolized PGE1 mainly to two polar derivatives, 20-hydroxy-PGE1 and 13,14-dihydro-15-keto-20-hydroxy-PGE1, whereas lungs from nonpregnant rabbits yielded mainly a relatively nonpolar metabolite, 13,14-dihydro-15-keto-PGE1. These metabolites were identified by coelution with standards that were generated enzymatically in vitro and whose structures were confirmed by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS).