Unstimulated normal human blood platelets were treated with azodicarboxylic acid bis(dimethylamide) (diamide), a thiol-oxidizing agent. Oxygenated arachidonic acid (AA) metabolites, malondialdehyde (MDA), and tocopherols were then quantified by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). Diamide treatment partially decreased the amount of reduced glutathione (GSH) content and induced a subsequent decrease in peroxidase activity. However, formation of 12-hydroxy-eicosatetraenoic acid (12-HETE), the end-product of lipoxygenation of AA, increased. Formation of MDA, a marker of overall lipid peroxidation, was also enhanced. Furthermore, platelet alpha-tocopherol, but not gamma-tocopherol, significantly decreased. These results indicate that enhanced "basal" lipoxygenase activity, as a marker of specific AA oxygenation, may be linked to decreased platelet antioxidant status.