Prostaglandins

Prostaglandins are a type of fatty acid with a cyclic hydrocarbon group. Although their name is derived from the fact that they were originally noted in the semen as a secretion of the prostate, it has since been shown that they are produced by and are active in almost

CH2OH

CH2OH

OH
OH

■ Figure 2.22 Cholesterol and some of the steroid hormones derived from cholesterol. The steroid hormones are secreted by the gonads and the adrenal cortex.

COOH

OH OH

COOH

OH OH

Prostaglandin Ei

Prostaglandin Ei

OH OH

COOH

OH OH

Prostaglandin F1

Prostaglandin F1

COOH

OH OH

COOH

OH OH

Prostaglandin E2

Prostaglandin E2

COOH

Prostaglandin F2

COOH

Prostaglandin F2

■ Figure 2.23 Structural formulas for various prostaglandins.

Prostaglandins are a family of regulatory compounds derived from a membrane lipid known as arachidonic acid.

all organs, where they serve a variety of regulatory functions. Prostaglandins are implicated in the regulation of blood vessel diameter, ovulation, uterine contraction during labor, inflammation reactions, blood clotting, and many other functions. Structural formulas for different types of prostaglandins are shown in figure 2.23.

Test Yourself Before You Continue

1. Describe the structure characteristic of all carbohydrates and distinguish between monosaccharides, disaccharides, and polysaccharides.

2. Using dehydration synthesis and hydrolysis reactions, explain how disaccharides and monosaccharides can be interconverted and how triglycerides can be formed and broken down.

3. Describe the characteristics of a lipid and discuss the different subcategories of lipids.

4. Relate the functions of phospholipids to their structure and explain the significance of the prostaglandins.

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Essentials of Human Physiology

Essentials of Human Physiology

This ebook provides an introductory explanation of the workings of the human body, with an effort to draw connections between the body systems and explain their interdependencies. A framework for the book is homeostasis and how the body maintains balance within each system. This is intended as a first introduction to physiology for a college-level course.

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