Na+,K+-ATPase inhibitors have been found to exist in acutely saline-infused hog plasma, which also inhibit the specific binding of ouabain to Na+,K+-ATPase and the binding of digoxin to specific anti-digoxin antibody. Two of these inhibitors were purified by a combination of Amberlite XAD-2 adsorption chromatography and 3 steps of high-performance liquid chromatography. Reverse phase, high-performance liquid chromatography, mass spectrometry, and nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometry identified these substances as linoleic (18:2) and oleic acids (18:1). A significant increase in the ouabain-displacing activity was observed in hog plasma during saline infusion. The maximal level reached was approximately 10 times higher than that of the preinfusion plasma sample. The two unsaturated fatty acids contributed to approximately 52% of the total ouabain-displacing activity after 120 min of saline infusion. The increased fatty acid levels in volume-expanded plasma are sufficient for an extensive inhibition of Na+,K+-ATPase activity. These results strongly suggest that free unsaturated fatty acids in plasma regulate extracellular fluid volume in a pathological volume-expanded condition through modulation of Na+,K+-ATPase activity.