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5-oxo-6,8,11,14-eicosatetraenoic acid (5-oxo-ETE) is a metabolite of arachidonic acid formed by the oxidation of 5-hydroxy-6,8,11,14-eicosatetraenoic acid by a highly specific dehydrogenase. 5-oxo-ETE is a chemoattractant for both neutrophils and eosinophils. Although it is not as effective as leukotriene B4 (LTB4) and platelet-activating factor (PAF) in stimulating neutrophil migration, we found that it is considerably more active than these and a variety of other lipid mediators as an eosinophil chemoattractant. Moreover, low concentrations of 5-oxo-ETE appear to enhance the responsiveness of these cells to PAF. The objectives of the current investigation were to identify rapid responses induced in eosinophils by 5-oxo-ETE that might be related to the infiltration of these cells into tissues. We found that 5-oxo-ETE is more effective than PAF and LTB4 in inducing both l-selectin shedding and actin polymerization in human eosinophils, whereas PAF is the most active of these mediators in stimulating calcium mobilization. The complementary effects of 5-oxo-ETE and PAF on actin polymerization and calcium mobilization may explain their synergistic effect on eosinophil migration. 5-oxo-ETE and PAF were equipotent in stimulating the surface expression of the β2-integrin CD11b, but were slightly less potent than LTB4. 5-oxo-ETE- induced actin polymerization was subject to homologous but not heterologous desensitization. It was not prevented by incubation of eosinophils with inhibitors of protein kinase C (staurosporine), mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase (PD98059), or phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase (wortmannin). In conclusion, 5-oxo-ETE is a potent activator of human eosinophils and may be an important regulator of tissue infiltration of these cells.