This pathway describes the production and subsequent metabolism of arachidonic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid. In resting cells arachidonic acid is present in the phospholipids (especially phosphatidylethanolamine and phosphatidylcholine) of membranes of the body’s cells, and is particularly abundant in the brain. Typically a receptor-dependent event, requiring a transducing G protein, initiates phospholipid hydrolysis and releases the fatty acid into the intracellular medium. Three enzymes mediate this deacylation reaction including phospholipase A2 (PLA2), phospholipase C (PLC), and phospholipase D (PLD). Once released, free arachidonate has three possible fates: 1) reincorporation into phospholipids, 2) diffusion outside the cell, and 3) metabolism. Arachidonate metabolism is carried out by three distinct enzyme classes: cyclooxygenases, lipoxygenases, and cytochrome P450’s. Specifically, the enzymes cyclooxygenase and peroxidase lead to the synthesis of prostaglandin H2, which in turn is used to produce the prostaglandins, prostacyclin, and thromboxanes. The enzyme 5-lipoxygenase leads to 5-HPETE, which in turn is used to produce the leukotrienes, hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acids (HETEs) and lipoxins. Some arachidonic acid is converted into midchain HETEs, omega-chain HETEs, dihydroxyeicosatrienoic acids (DHETs), and epoxyeicosatrienoic acids (EETs) by cytochrome P450 epoxygenase hydroxylase activity. Several products of these pathways act within neurons to modulate the activities of ion channels, protein kinases, ion pumps, and neurotransmitter uptake systems, affecting processes such as cellular proliferation, inflammation, and hemostasis. The newly formed eicosanoids may also exit the cell of origin and bind to G-protein-coupled receptors present on nearby neurons or glial cells.