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prostaglandinsA group of unsaturated fatty acid mediators occurring throughout the tissues and body fluids. They are generated from cell membrane ARACHIDONIC ACID by the action of phospholipase A2 and function as hormones. They have many different actions. They cause constriction or widening of arteries, they stimulate pain nerve endings, they promote or inhibit aggregation of blood PLATELETS and hence influence blood clotting, they induce abortion, reduce stomach acid secretion and relieve asthma. They can both stimulate and inhibit immune responses. Some painkilling drugs, such as aspirin, act by preventing the release of prostaglandins from injured tissue.
Collins Dictionary of Medicine © Robert M. Youngson 2004, 2005
prostaglandinsa group of lipid substances that exert a wide range of stimulatory effects on the body, the most important of which is the enhancement of the effects of CYCLIC AMP. Prostaglandins are derived from many tissues including the prostate gland (or can be made synthetically), and have been used in the induction of labour and abortion.
Collins Dictionary of Biology, 3rd ed. © W. G. Hale, V. A. Saunders, J. P. Margham 2005
Prostaglandins are produced by the body and are responsible for inflammation features, such as swelling, pain, stiffness, redness and warmth.
Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.