Prostaglandins and Leukotrienes(Eicosanoids)

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Chapter: Essential pharmacology : Prostaglandins, Leukotrienes (Eicosanoids) and Platelet Activating Factor

Prostaglandins (PGs) and Leukotrienes (LTs) are biologically active derivatives of 20 carbon atom polyunsaturated essential fatty acids that are released from cell membrane phospholipids. They are the major lipid derived autacoids.


PROSTAGLANDINS AND LEUKOTRIENES

(Eicosanoids)

 

Prostaglandins (PGs) and Leukotrienes (LTs) are biologically active derivatives of 20 carbon atom polyunsaturated essential fatty acids that are released from cell membrane phospholipids. They are the major lipid derived autacoids.

 

In the 1930s human semen was found to contract isolated uterine and other smooth muscle strips and to cause fall in BP in animals. The active principle was termed ‘prostaglandin’, thinking that it was derived from prostate. Only in the 1960s it was shown to be a mixture of closely related compounds, the chemical structures were elucidated and widespread distribution was revealed. In 1970s it became clear that aspirin like drugs act by inhibiting PG synthesis, and that in addition to the classical PGs (Es and Fs), thromboxane (TX), prostacyclin (PGI) and leukotrienes (LTs) were of great biological importance. Bergstrom, Samuelsson and Vane got the Nobel prize in 1982 for their work on PGs and LTs. Over the past 40 years they have been among the most intensely investigated substances.

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