The Role of Eicosanoids in Human Glomerular Disease

  • Alessandro Pierucci
  • Giulio Alberto Cinotti
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 259)


A large body of evidence suggests a complex role of renal prostaglandins (PGs) in the control of cortical and medullary functions, i.e., renal blood flow (RBF), glomerular filtration rate (GFR), renin release, urinary concentrating mechanism, and electrolyte and water excretion. Several reviews of renal arachidonic acid metabolism can be recommended (1–4). PGs are considered to be ubiquitous autacoids, that is, substances that act predominantly at their production site. Since different nephron segments have highly specialized structures and functions, the synthesis and functions of the various PGs should be considered separately for each segment, rather than globally for the whole kidney (3). Although no direct evidence exists for a differential origin of any given urinary eicosanoid from a well-defined nephron segment in human kidney, a working hypothesis can be put forward relating cellular sites of biosynthesis and potential actions of eicosanoids to urinary excretion (Table 1). Prostacyclin (PGI2) and prostaglandin (PG)En are powerful vasodilators and appear to serve an important role in maintaining renal vasodilation. However, in the human kidney, PGI2 is primarily involved in the modulation of cortical events, i.e., RBF, GFR and renin release, while PGE2 is largely confined to controlling medullary functions, i.e., medullary blood flow, sodium and chloride reabsorption in the loop of Henle, and collecting-tubule response to vasopressin.


Nephrotic Syndrome Lupus Nephritis Renal Blood Flow Renal Plasma Flow Renal Prostaglandin 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alessandro Pierucci
    • 1
  • Giulio Alberto Cinotti
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Internal Medicine II, Division of NephrologyUniversity of Rome “La Sapienza”RomeItaly

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