Prostanoids are a diverse family of eicosanoids (20-carbon molecules), produced from arachidonic acid, and include:

  • Thromboxane
  • Prostacyclin
  • Prostaglandins


Arachidonic acid is converted into:

  • Leukotrienes by LOX
  • Cyclic endoperoxidases by COX enzymes
    These undergo further metabolism to produce:
    • Thromboxanes
      • Thromboxane A2
    • Prostacyclins
      • PGI2
    • Prostaglandins
      • PGE2
        • EP1
        • EP2
        • EP3
      • PGF
      • PGD2


Receptor Receptor Respiratory Vascular GIT GU Other
Thromboxane A2 Gq Vasoconstriction Platelet aggregation
PGI2 Gs Bronchodilation Vasodilation (renal and pulmonary)
PGE2 EP1 Gq Bronchoconstriction Increased contraction Renal vasodilation
PGE2 EP2 Gs Bronchodilation Closure of ductus arteriosus Decreased contraction Renal vasodilation
PGE2 EP3 Gi Gastric mucous production, GIT contraction Uterine contraction
PGF Gq Bronchoconstriction Vasoconstriction Uterine contraction
PGD2 Gs Renal vasodilation Promotes sleep


  1. Ricciotti E, FitzGerald GA. Prostaglandins and Inflammation. Arteriosclerosis, thrombosis, and vascular biology. 2011;31(5):986-1000. doi:10.1161/ATVBAHA.110.207449.
Last updated 2021-08-23

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