Encyclopedia of Cancer

Living Edition
| Editors: Manfred Schwab


  • Manfred Schwab
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27841-9_1835-2


Eicosa-, Greek for “twenty,” are signaling molecules derived by oxygenation from omega-3 (ω-3) or omega-6 (ω-6) fatty acids. They exert complex control over many bodily systems, especially in inflammation, immunity, and as messengers in the central nervous system. The networks of controls that depend upon eicosanoids are among the most complex in the human body. There are four families of eicosanoids – the prostaglandins, the prostacyclins, the thromboxanes, and the leukotrienes. For each, there are two or three separate series, derived either from an ω-3 or ω-6 essential fatty acid.



Nervous System Central Nervous System Cancer Research Human Body Arachidonic Acid 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ)HeidelbergGermany