In lung lavages of rat after pure oxygen breathing, a toxic linoleate peroxide, 9,10-epoxy-12-octadecenoate, and its isomer, 12,13-epoxy-9-octadecenoate were detected by HPLC analyses. The epoxide(s) was demonstrated to be biosynthesized by incubating linoleate with leukocytes collected from lung lavages, thus nominated to be leukotoxin. The chemical structures of leukotoxin and its isomer were determined by gas-chromatography/mass spectrometry and nuclear magnetic resonance measurements. Leukotoxin showed a potent uncoupling activity to rat liver mitochondrial respiration and a dose-dependent relaxation of rat stomach smooth muscle. These findings were discussed with 'oxygen toxicity' on the lung.