Prostaglandins (Eicosanoids) and Their Role in Ectothermic Organisms

  • T. Mustafa
  • K. C. Srivastava
Part of the Advances in Comparative and Environmental Physiology book series (COMPARATIVE, volume 5)


Prostaglandins (PGs) are often mentioned in the context of mammalian physiology and pathophysiology. It is now known that PGs are present and play important roles in almost all mammalian tissues and fluids (Horrobin 1978). The term eicosanoids was introduced by Corey et al. (1980) to encompass various biologically active derivatives of eicosapolyenoic acids, especially arachidonic acid. The eicosanoid family includes PGs, thromboxanes (TXs), hydroperoxy- and hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acids (HPETEs and HETEs), the leukotrienes (LTs), and lipoxins (LXs). The term eicosanoids has not been used uniformally in this review. Terms like prostaglandins, thromboxanes, etc. have been preferred, and they appear at appropriate places in keeping with the tradition followed by various researchers who have contributed to the development of this area of research in biology and medicine. Although interest in the biological significance of these compounds was essentially based on the physiological studies in mammals traceable to the early part of this century, the PGs were not studied from non-mammalian organisms until the first report appeared of PGs in an invertebrate animal, the gorgonian coral Plexaura homomalla (Weinheimer and Spraggins 1969). Since then, occurrence of PGs in over 100 invertebrate species, several fish, and amphibian species has been reported.


Arachidonic Acid Prostaglandin Biosynthesis Prostaglandin Endoperoxide Lipoxygenase Product Toad Bladder 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • T. Mustafa
    • 1
  • K. C. Srivastava
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute of BiologyOdense UniversityOdense MDenmark
  2. 2.Department of Environmental Medicine, Institute of Community HealthOdense UniversityOdense CDenmark

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