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Br J Pharmacol. 2008 Sep;155(1):4-16. doi: 10.1038/bjp.2008.216. Epub 2008 Jun 16.

Arachidonic acid and ion channels: an update.

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  • 1Physiologisches Institut, Universität des Saarlandes, Homburg-Saar, Germany.


Arachidonic acid (AA), a polyunsaturated fatty acid with four double bonds, has multiple actions on living cells. Many of these effects are mediated by an action of AA or its metabolites on ion channels. During the last 10 years, new types of ion channels, transient receptor potential (TRP) channels, store-operated calcium entry (SOCE) channels and non-SOCE channels have been studied. This review summarizes our current knowledge about the effects of AA on TRP and non-SOCE channels as well as classical ion channels. It aims to distinguish between effects of AA itself and effects of AA metabolites. Lipid mediators are of clinical interest because some of them (for example, leukotrienes) play a role in various diseases, others (such as prostaglandins) are targets for pharmacological therapeutic intervention.

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