Inflammation has been considered to be related to carcinogenesis. Previously, we demonstrated that 1-hydroxyanthraquinone (1-HA), a naturally occurring carcinogen, induced severe inflammation such as ulcerative colitis in colonic mucosa. We also showed that indomethacin inhibited the tumorigenicity of 1-HA. In this study, we examined the expressions of major enzymes in arachidonic acid cascade related to inflammation in the colon mucosa of rats treated with 1-HA. After the treatment of 1% 1-HA diet, colon lesions were observed and RNA was extracted from mucosa and neoplasms. The mRNA expressions of group II phospholipase A2, cyclooxygenase-2 and 5-lipoxygenase, were examined by using a reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction. The expressions of phospholipase A2 and cyclooxygenase were significantly increased in non-neoplastic mucosa in rats treated with 1-HA compared with those in control rats. The expressions in the neoplasms induced by 1-HA were also increased. Phospholipase A2, especially, was much higher in the neoplasms than in non-neoplastic mucosa. However, the expression of 5-lipoxygenase showed no change in the non-neoplastic mucosa and neoplasms of rats treated with 1-HA, compared with that in control rats. These findings suggest that the inflammation induced by 1-HA may be related to the metabolites through a cyclooxygenase pathway, which indicates a prostaglandin synthesis, but not through a lipoxygenase pathway, which indicates a leukotriene synthesis in arachidonic acid cascade.