Show Summary Details

Quick Reference

Any of a group of organic compounds derived from essential fatty acids and causing a range of physiological effects in animals. Prostaglandins have been detected in most body tissues. They act at very low concentrations to cause the contraction of smooth muscle; natural and synthetic prostaglandins are used to induce abortion or labour in humans and domestic animals. Two prostaglandin derivatives have antagonistic effects on blood circulation: thromboxane A2 causes blood clotting while prostacyclin causes blood vessels to dilate. Inflammation in allergic reactions and other diseases is also thought to involve prostaglandins.

Subjects: Medicine and Health — Chemistry.

Reference entries

See all related reference entries in Oxford Index »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.