Biochemistry and Pharmacology of Prostaglandin E1: Introductory Remarks

  • R. Paoletti


Prostaglandin E1 (PGE1) was discovered by Bergström’s group in the 1960s and the structure was originally defined (Fig. 1). PGE1 is a component of the prostaglandin (PG) group and is called a stable prostaglandin; it can be much more active in tissue under physiological conditions than the more recently discovered PGs, such as prostacyclin (PGI2). Its stability is mainly related to the fact that there are only two double bonds in its structure. Prostaglandin E1 derives from dihomogammalinolenic acid (20:3), being an analogue of arachidonic acid (AA). The membrane phospholipids contain AA, a polyunsaturated fatty acid, consisting of 20 carbon atoms and four double bonds. It (20:4) is released after stimuli and is quite a good substrate for the enzyme cyclooxygenase. From AA endoperoxides are formed and then finally a group of well-known PGs, including thromboxane, the platelet aggregating and smooth muscle contracting agent, and PGI2, which has the opposite biological effects, inhibiting platelet aggregation and relaxing arterial smooth muscle cells. In addition, stable PGs are formed, including PGE2 and PGF (Fig. 2).


Arachidonic Acid Ganglionic Cell Lipolytic Effect Arteriosclerosis Obliterans Adipose Tissue Cell 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1986

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  • R. Paoletti

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