Prostaglandins are unsaturated carboxylic acids, consisting
of of a 20 carbon skeleton that also contains a five member ring
and are based upon the fatty acid, arachidonic acid. There are
a variety of structures one, two, or three double bonds. On the
five member ring there may also be double bonds, a ketone, or
alcohol groups. A typical structure is on the left graphic.
Prostaglandin - Chime
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|Quiz: In PGE2, list all of
the functional groups.
|What is difference the C=C double
Functions of Prostaglandins:
There are a variety of physiological effects including:
1. Activation of the inflammatory response, production of
pain, and fever. When tissues are damaged, white blood cells
flood to the site to try to minimize tissue destruction. Prostaglandins
are produced as a result.
2. Blood clots form when a blood vessel is damaged. A type
of prostaglandin called thromboxane stimulates constriction and
clotting of platelets. Conversely, PGI2, is produced to have
the opposite effect on the walls of blood vessels where clots
should not be forming.
3. Certain prostaglandins are involved with the induction
of labor and other reproductive processes. PGE2 causes uterine
contractions and has been used to induce labor.
4. Prostaglandins are involved in several other organs such
as the gastrointestinal tract (inhibit acid synthesis and increase
secretion of protective mucus), increase blood flow in kidneys,
and leukotriens promote constriction of bronchi associated with