The levels of 2 arachidonic acid metabolites formed either by enzymatic activity of cyclooxygenase, i.e. prostaglandin E2 (PGE2), or by free radical-catalyzed peroxidation, i.e. F2-isoprostane 8-epi-prostaglandin F2α (8-epi-PGF2α), were measured in the CSF of subjects with sporadic and familial Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease (CJD) and in brain homogenates of scrapie-infected mice. The CSF levels of both metabolites were increased in sporadic CJD (n = 52) and familial CJD (n = 10) patients when compared with a group of patients with noninflammatory disorders. Similarly, PGE2 and 8-epi-PGF2α levels were higher in brain homogenates obtained from C57BL/6J mice infected with the ME7 scrapie strain than in brain homogenates from control animals. As PGE2 is 1 of the most abundant prostaglandins released during inflammation and 8-epi-PGF2α is a quantitative marker of lipid peroxidation, our results provide in vivo biochemical evidence for the occurrence of inflammation and oxidative stress in human and experimental transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs), a concept so far based mainly on histopathological and in vitro evidence. Interestingly, in sporadic CJD patients, high CSF levels of PGE2, but not 8-epi-PGF2α, correlated with short survival time, suggesting that the inflammatory response correlates with the clinical duration of disease.