Arachidonic acid metabolism via the cyclooxygenase pathway and the effects of aspirin and indomethacin were studied in whole retinas of rats with streptozotocin-induced diabetes. Diabetes was induced by intravenous injection of streptozotocin (60mg/kg) and the animals were examined 5-6 weeks later. Whole retinas of nondiabetic and diabetic animals were incubated for 1 1/2 hours, and the amounts of prostacyclin and prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) accumulated in the media were measured. The amounts of PGE2 in the media of diabetic retinas was significatntly lower than levels in media of nondiabetic group. However, the amounts of prostacyclin accumulated in the media of nondiabetic and diabetic retinas did not differ significantly. Addition of arachidonic acid (A.A.) to the incubation media caused an enhancement in the amounts of PGE2 and prostacyclin in the incubation media of both diabetic and nondiabetic retinas. Addition of indomethacin or aspirin to the incubation media caused a reduction of prostacyclin and PGE2 levels in the media of both groups.