15-Hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid (15-HETE) is an important hypoxic product from arachidonic acid (AA) in the wall of pulmonary vessels. Although its effects on pulmonary artery constriction are well known, it remains unclear whether 15-HETE acts on the apoptotic responses in pulmonary artery smooth muscle cells (PASMCs) and whether K+ channels participate in this process. These hypothesises were validated by cell viability assay, terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP nick end-labeling, mitochondrial potentials assay, caspase activity assay and western blot. We found that 15-HETE enhanced cell survival, suppressed the expression and activity of caspase-3, upregulated bcl-2 and attenuated mitochondrial depolarization, prevented chromatin condensation and partly reversed K+ channel opener-induced apoptosis in PASMCs under serum-deprived conditions. Our data indicated that 15-HETE inhibits the apoptosis in PASMCs through, at least in part, inactivating K+ channels.