II. Definitions

  1. Arachidonic Acid
    1. Arachidonic Acid is a polyunsaturated Essential Fatty Acid present in human fat, liver, brain and glandular organs
    2. Derived from dietary Linoleic Acid
    3. Precursor of Prostaglandins, prostacyclins, Thromboxanes, and Leukotrienes.

III. Physiology: Arachidonic Acid Derivatives (Eicosanoids)

  1. General
    1. Derived from Arachidonic Acid via cyclooxygenase pathway
    2. Basic structure is a 5 carbon ring "head" with two 6 to 9 carbon chain "legs"
    3. Functions vary by specific molecule, but function in general is summarized here
  2. Thromboxanes
    1. Increase Platelet aggregation
  3. Leukotrienes
    1. Leukocyte chemotaxis
  4. Prostacyclin
    1. Inhibits Platelet aggregation
    2. Vasodilates
  5. Prostaglandins
    1. Some Prostaglandins contract Smooth Muscle (e.g. Vasoconstriction, bronchoconstriction, uterine contraction)
    2. Some Prostaglandins increase inflammatory response as well as pain and fever

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