The Development of New Antileukotriene Drugs: Specific Leukotriene D4 Antagonists and 5-Lipoxygenase Inhibitors

  • Joshua Rokach
  • Robert N. Young
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 259)


The leukotrienes are a complex set of metabolites derived from oxidative metabolism of arachidonic acid (1). The release of arachidonic acid from phospholipid stores by specific phospholipases, when accompanied by a specific activation of an enzyme known as 5-lipoxygenase, results in the conversion of arachidonic acid to 5-hydroperoxyeicosatetraenoic acid (5-HPETE) (2). Through a specific dehydration step, this same enzyme can convert 5-HPETE to the reactive epoxide known as leukotriene A4 (LTA4) (3) . LTA4 can be hydrated by a specific LTA4 hydrolase enzyme which introduces a hydroxyl group in the 12R position to produce leukotriene B4 (LTB4, 5[S], 12[R]-dihydroxy-6, 14[Z]-8, 10[E]-eicosatetraenoic acid) (4). LTBa is a potent stimulator of leukocyte migration in vitro (1–3) and in vivo (4) and is comparably potent with chemotactic factors such as C5A and the synthetic peptide f-Met-Leu-Phe. In addition, LTB4 causes aggregation of polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMNs) and exudation of plasma and has been shown to stimulate phospholipase A2. LTB4 has also been shown to contract human bronchus and guinea pig lung strips. The potent biological effects of LTBa and the demonstrated measurable levels of LTB4 in psoriatic tissue (5) have led to the speculation that LTB4 may play an important role in mediating inflammatory responses in man.


Dynamic Compliance Allergic Conjunctivitis Insufflation Pressure Schild Analysis Human Glomerular Epithelial Cell 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joshua Rokach
    • 1
  • Robert N. Young
    • 1
  1. 1.Merck Frosst Canada, Inc.QuebecCanada

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