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any of a group of compounds derived from unsaturated fatty acids, primarily arachidonic acid, that are extremely potent mediators of immediate hypersensitivity reactions and inflammation, producing smooth muscle contraction, especially bronchoconstriction, increased vascular permeability, and migration of leukocytes to areas of inflammation. Certain leukotrienes are collectively known as SRS-A (slow reacting substance of anaphylaxis), the name given to their potent bronchoconstrictor activity 30 years before their structure was elucidated; they also cause leakage of fluid and proteins from the microvasculature.
Miller-Keane Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health, Seventh Edition. © 2003 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier, Inc. All rights reserved.
Any of several lipid compounds that contain 20 carbon atoms, are related to prostaglandins, and mediate the inflammatory response.
The American Heritage® Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2007, 2004 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.