Prostaglandins, Leukotrienes, Related Compounds and Their Inhibitors

  • S. D. Brain
  • T. J. Williams
Part of the Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology book series (HEP, volume 87 / 1)


KURZROK and LIEB (1930) found that fresh human semen induced either strong relaxation or strong contraction of the human uterus. Several years later, two independent workers, GOLDBLATT (1935) and VON EULER (1936), reported that seminal fluid contained smooth muscle-contracting and vasodepressor activity. VON EULER named the activity, which appeared to be lipid in nature, “prostaglandin”. He discovered that it could be extracted from seminal fluid of several species and from ram vesicular gland (VON EULER 1936). The isolation of pure crystalline prostaglandins, from vesicular glands, was achieved in 1957 (BERGSTRÖM and SJÖVALL) and was followed by the first structure elucidations (BERSTRÖM et al. 1962). It is now known that the prostaglandins constitute a family of compounds of unique structure. These compounds are widely distributed in nature and have potent biological activities.


Arachidonic Acid Rabbit Skin Prostaglandin Endoperoxide Lipoxygenase Product Eicosatetraenoic Acid 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1989

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  • S. D. Brain
  • T. J. Williams

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