Male Sprague-Dawley rats were fed diets with 50% of the energy from fat over a 20-day period. The fats used were hydrogenated beef-fat (HBF), or HBF supplemented with ethyl arachidonate A, safflower oil (SO), or a mixture of SO and linseed oil (LO). For comparative purposes, another group of animals was fed a diet providing 50% of the energy as butter-fat. In vitro aortic prostacyclin (PGI2) and serum thromboxane (TXA2) levels (from clotting blood) were determined by radioimmunoassay of 6-keto PGF1 alpha and TXB2, respectively. The HBF diet had similar AA levels relative to the butter-fed rats but significantly reduced tissue levels of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and this was associated with an increased production of serum TXB2. Supplementing the HBF diet with AA increased tissue levels of AA while maintaining low levels of n-3 fatty acids. These changes were accompanied by significant increases of both TXB2 and 6-keto-PGF1 alpha. LO supplementation to the HBF diet (with constant SO) led to elevated levels of EPA and relatively constant AA levels and this was associated with reduced production of TXB2. These results highlight the responsiveness of TXA2 to n-3 fatty acids in contrast to PGI2 which was more influenced by the level of AA in the tissue phospholipids in the rat.