The mechanism(s) involved in the pulmonary vascular and airway responses to pulmonary microembolism have not been clearly defined. Therefore, we determined the effects of specific prostaglandin and histamine blockade on the hemodynamic and arterial blood gas tension responses to particulate microembolism (200 μ glass beads) in intact anesthetized dogs. The marked increases in pulmonary arterial pressure and pulmonary vascular resistance observed in the untreated dogs were attenuated, but not abolished, following both prostaglandin blockade (with either meclofenamate or polyphloretin phosphate) and histamine blockade (with chlorpheniramine and metiamide) at 5 minutes, and were still attenuated 30 minutes post embolization. Combined prostaglandin and histamine blockade further attenuated, but again did not abolish, the pulmonary vascular responses. Cardiac outputs and systemic arterial pressures were unchanged from control by embolism. The alveolar hypoventilation (decreased arterial oxygen tension and increased carbon dioxide tension) observed in the untreated embolized dogs was prevented only with the prostaglandin inhibitors. Pulmonary microembolism in intact dogs, therefore, appears to induce vasoconstriction mediated partially by prostaglandin and histamine action, and alveolar hypoventilation mediated by prostaglandin, but not histamine, action.