Arachidonic Acid Metabolism in the Lungs: Effect of Histamine and Slow-Reacting-Substance of Anaphylaxis

  • G. C. Folco
  • C. Omini
  • L. Sautebin
  • F. Berti
Part of the NATO Advanced Study Institutes Series book series


Since the discovery of prostaglandins from pig and sheep lungs by Bergström (1), the description of their pharmacological activity upon bronchial smooth muscle (2) and pulmonary vessels (3) has stimulated investigation on the role of these lipidic compounds in the physiopathology of the respiratory system. Interest in the prostaglandin field increased remarkably when, in 1975, Thromboxane-A2 (TXA2) was identified, and its potent vasoconstrictor and thrombogenic activity was established (4). The potential clinical importance of TXA2 began to be more considered when it was demonstrated that this “ephemeral substance”, which is made by platelets, could be also generated in the lungs as a main metabolite of arachidonic acid (AA) (5). In fact release of prostaglandins and mainly rabbit-aorta contracting substance (RCS), now identified as a mixture of TXA2 and a small amount of endoperoxides was shown by Piper and Vane, when studying chemical mediators in anaphylactic guinea-pig lungs (6). TXA2 is a dangerous agent which displays a powerful contracting capacity on the bronchial smooth muscle. Intravenous injection of TXA2 in anaesthetized guinea-pigs brings about a sustained increase in the airways resistence, an effect which is 40 folds higher than


Arachidonic Acid Metabolism Bronchial Smooth Muscle Lipoxygenase Pathway Fatty Acid Hydroperoxide Prostaglandin Endoperoxide 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. C. Folco
    • 1
  • C. Omini
    • 1
  • L. Sautebin
    • 1
  • F. Berti
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of PharmacologySchool of Pharmacy University of MilanMilanItaly

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