AskDefine | Define prostaglandin

Dictionary Definition

prostaglandin n : potent hormone-like substance found in many bodily tissues (and especially in semen); produced in response to trauma and may affect blood pressure and metabolism and smooth muscle activity

User Contributed Dictionary



From German Prostaglandin, corresponding to prosta(te) + gland + -in (because it was originally believed to be secreted from the prostate).




  1. Any of a group of naturally occurring lipids derived from the C20 acid prostanoic acid; they have a number of physiological functions and may be considered to be hormones.
    • 2001: This enzyme generates an inflammatory mediator known as prostaglandin, which triggers pain and other aspects of inflammation. — Leslie Iversen, Drugs: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford 2001, p. 51)

Extensive Definition

A prostaglandin is any member of a group of lipid compounds that are derived enzymatically from fatty acids and have important functions in the animal body. Every prostaglandin contains 20 carbon atoms, including a 5-carbon ring. They are mediators and have a variety of strong physiological effects; although they are technically hormones, they are rarely classified as such.
The prostaglandins together with the thromboxanes and prostacyclins form the prostanoid class of fatty acid derivatives; the prostanoid class is a subclass of eicosanoids.

History and name

The name prostaglandin derives from the prostate gland. When prostaglandin was first isolated from seminal fluid in 1935 by the Swedish physiologist Ulf von Euler, and independently by M.W. Goldblatt, it was believed to be part of the prostatic secretions (in actuality prostaglandins are produced by the seminal vesicles); it was later shown that many other tissues secrete prostaglandins for various functions.
In 1971, it was determined that aspirin-like drugs could inhibit the synthesis of prostaglandins. The biochemists Sune K. Bergström, Bengt I. Samuelsson and John R. Vane jointly received the 1982 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their research on prostaglandins.



! Function |- | PGI2 | IP | |- | rowspan=4 | PGE2 | EP1 | |- | EP2 | |- | EP3 | |- | Unspecified |


External links

prostaglandin in German: Prostaglandin
prostaglandin in Spanish: Prostaglandina
prostaglandin in French: Prostaglandine
prostaglandin in Italian: Prostaglandine
prostaglandin in Hebrew: פרוסטגלנדין
prostaglandin in Lithuanian: Prostaglandinai
prostaglandin in Dutch: Prostaglandinen
prostaglandin in Japanese: プロスタグランジン
prostaglandin in Norwegian: Prostaglandin
prostaglandin in Norwegian Nynorsk: Prostaglandin
prostaglandin in Polish: Prostaglandyny
prostaglandin in Portuguese: Prostaglandina
prostaglandin in Russian: Простагландины
prostaglandin in Slovenian: Prostaglandin
prostaglandin in Finnish: Prostaglandiini
prostaglandin in Swedish: Prostaglandin
prostaglandin in Turkish: Prostaglandin
prostaglandin in Ukrainian: Простагландини
prostaglandin in Vietnamese: Prostaglandin
prostaglandin in Chinese: 前列腺素
Privacy Policy, About Us, Terms and Conditions, Contact Us
Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2
Material from Wikipedia, Wiktionary, Dict
Valid HTML 4.01 Strict, Valid CSS Level 2.1