noun, plural: prostaglandins E
The most common and most biologically active mammalian prostaglandin, e.g. PGE2 (with a chemical formula of C20H32O5) that acts as a direct vasodilator, smooth muscle relaxant, inhibitor the release of noradrenaline from sympathetic nerve terminals, and suppressor of T cell receptor signaling, etc.
Prostaglandin is an eicosanoid that is derived from unsaturated 20-carbon fatty acids, such as arachidonic acid, through the cyclooxygenase pathway. There are several prostaglandins and they are designated by appending a letter, i.e. from A to I, to indicate the type of substituents found on the hydrocarbon skeleton. There are four major types of prostaglandins produced biosynthetically: prostaglandin E2 (PGE2), prostacyclin (PGI2), prostaglandin D2 (PGD2) and prostaglandin F2α (PGF2α).
PGE series is a group of prostaglandin naturally produced in the body, such as brain, platelets, kidneys, and vascular smooth muscle cells. PGE2, [chemical name: 7-(3-hydroxy-2-(3-hydroxy-1-octenyl)-5-oxocyclopentyl)-5-heptenoic acid], is considered as the most predominant and the most biologically active of the mammalian prostaglandins. PGE2 (also known as dinoprostone), has a chemical formula of C20H32O5 and has a strong affinity for prostaglandin E2 receptors, such as EP1, EP2, EP3, EP4. Essentially, PGE2 is a vasodilator. It also causes smooth muscle relaxation. It is also involved in uterus contraction in pregnant women and lipolysis inhibition, particularly when it reacts with EP3.
PGE2 as a medication is used as an oxytocic agent. Thus, it belongs to the oxytocics family. It is administered via injection into a vein or intravaginal so as to induce labor, or to terminate pregnancy. In neonates with congenital heart defect, it is used to keep the ductus arteriosus open, particularly, during surgical procedure.