We examined the in vitro production of PGE2, 6-keto PGF1α and TxB2 by isolated glomeruli from rats fed a low (6% casein) or a high (40% casein) protein diet for approximately eight weeks. Glomeruli from high protein-fed rats produced significantly greater amounts of PGE2, 6-keto PGF1α and TxB2 under basal conditions and in response to the addition of 100 nM angiotensin II (Ang II) than glomeruli from low protein-fed rats. To elucidate the mechanisms by which greater protein intake enhanced the glomerular production of eicosanoids, we explored phospholipase (A2 and C) and cyclooxygenase activity in glomeruli isolated from low- or high-protein fed rats. PE-specific PLA2 activities were significantly increased in glomeruli from rats fed a high protein diet when compared to a low protein diet. On the other hand, PC-specific PLA2 activities were significantly decreased in glomeruli from rats fed a high protein diet. No significant difference in PIP2-PLC activities was detected between glomeruli of the two dietary groups. The cyclooxygenase content and activity was significantly greater in glomeruli from rats fed a high protein diet than in glomeruli from rats fed a low protein diet. Glomeruli of rats fed a 50/50 mixture of the diets (23% casein) had amounts and activity of cyclooxygenase and activities of PE-specific PLA2 intermediate between those of high and low protein-fed animals. In conclusion, increased synthesis of eicosanoids by glomeruli from rats fed a high protein diet may be mediated by increases in the amount and activity of cyclooxygenase coupled with enhanced activity of PE-specific PLA2.