(Science: protein) (prostate gland _ in because they were originally discovered in semen) any of a group of components derived from unsaturated 20 carbon fatty acids, primarily arachidonic acid, via the cyclooxygenase pathway that are extremely potent mediators of a diverse group of physiologic processes. The abbreviation for prostaglandin is pG, specific compounds are designated by adding one of the letters A through I to indicate the type of substituents found on the hydrocarbon skeleton and a subscript (1, 2 or 3) to indicate the number of double bonds in the hydrocarbon skeleton for example, PGE2. The predominant naturally occurring prostaglandins all have two double bonds and are synthesised from arachidonic acid (5, 8, 11, 14 eicosatetraenoic acid) by the pathway shown in the illustration. The 1 series and 3 series are produced by the same pathway with fatty acids having one fewer double bond (8, 11, 14 eicosatrienoic acid or one more double bond (5, 8, 11, 14, 17 eicosapentaenoic acid) than arachidonic acid. The subscript a or á indicates the configuration at C 9 (a denotes a substituent below the plane of the ring, á, above the plane). The naturally occurring PGF's have the a configuration, for example, PGF2a. All of the prostaglandins act by binding to specific cell surface receptors causing an increase in the level of the intracellular second messenger cyclic AMP (and in some cases cyclic GMP also). The effect produced by the cyclic aMP increase depends on the spec cd1 ific cell type. In some cases there is also a positive feedback effect. Increased cyclic AMP increases prostaglandin synthesis leading to further increases in cyclic AMP.
group of compounds derived from arachidonic acid by the action of cyclooxygenase that produces cyclic endoperoxides (PGG2 and PGH2) that can give rise to prostacyclin or thromboxanes as well as prostaglandins. Were originally purified from prostate (hence the name), but are now known to be ubiquitous in tissues. PGs have a variety of important roles in regulating cellular activities, especially in the inflammatory response where they may act as vasodilators in the vascular system, cause vasoconstriction or vasodilation together with bronchodilation in the lung and act as hyperalgesics. Prostaglandins are rapidly degraded in the lungs and will not therefore persist in the circulation. Prostaglandin E2 PGE2) acts on adenylate cyclase to enhance the production of cyclic AMP.