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Prostaglandins, Essay Example

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Overview

Prostaglandins are members of a group of lipids that were initially thought to have formed as a derivative of the prostate gland.  The initial isolation was by physiologist Ulf von Euler (von Euler 1935) and was believed to be part of the prostate secretion which in turn was derived that the prostaglandins were created by the prostate but in fact they are produced by seminal vesicles which was found out through a discovery by M.W. Goldbalt and published in J Physiol of May 1935.  It was also proven approximately thirty years later those other tissues create the prostaglandins as part of their various functions and that prostaglandins are found throughout the body’s tissues.

The prostaglandins are naturally occurring in multiple organs and tissues throughout the body and as a result of their multi-location their very function has drawn attention of scientist and researchers to fully understand how their functionality can facilitate advancements in physiological and pathophysiological research.  The function of prostaglandins are producing a wide range of body functionality relating to capillary permeability, coagulation of platelets, smoothing muscle tone by helping the fibers arrange properly and facilitating the functionality of endocrine and exocrine.  In order to determine that a compound is a prostaglandin there are certain criteria which needs to be met.  The group of compounds is derived from fatty acids which must contain twenty carbon atoms composed of a five-carbon ring.  Since prostaglandins are found in most tissues there was early stipulation into the exact function and use of the lipid compound.

Research projects are cropping up to try to fully understand the role prostaglandin compounds play in human physiology for promoting health and preventing disease.  It is known that the compounds are regulatory in nature in terms of physiological processes in the human body.  This is important in therapeutic implications for anti-inflammatory drugs to regulate the amount of drugs and other pharmaceutical methods of controlling varying aspects of anti-inflammation to negate the use of steroids in this process.

There are approximately ten known prostaglandin receptors located throughout the body which help the process of prostaglandins.  The function of the prostaglandins is to facilitate the inflammatory reaction to help neutralize and negate the infections caused by traumatic stimulus such as burns, frostbite, cuts, or other foreign objects penetrating the epidermis or other tissue.  The responses include redness, swelling, fever and the immediate impact of a pain sensation.  As mentioned before the influence of prostaglandins on the clotting function to help stop bleeding and promotes vasoconstriction, blood vessel constriction.

Along with the responses to injury and preventing blood loss through clotting, prostaglandins play a significant role in the induction of labor.  Through the natural occurrence of prostaglandins facilitate the activity in the uterus and cervical preparation for child birth.  Prostaglandin gel is often used and applied to the cervix to help induce labor.  Prostaglandin remains an important aspect of the lipid compound family due to its tremendous role in injury mitigation and induction of labor.  Prostaglandin also has many other uses that include the treatment of erectile dysfunction, vasodilator, glaucoma, closure of the patent ductus arteriosus in newborns, and pulmonary hypertension.

These naturally occuring unsaturated fatty acids have multiple uses in current medical environments as well as a plethora of scientific potential that is currently being researched.

 

References

Von Euler V., (1935). “Über die spezifische blutdrucksenkende Substanz des menschlichen Prostata- und Samenblasensekrets” Journal of Molecular Medicine. Volume 14, Number 33.

Goldblatt M.W., (1935). “Properties of human seminal plasma”. J Physiol Volume 84 (2): 208–18.

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