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Br J Clin Pharmacol. 1996 Jul;42(1):15-9.

8-Epi PGF2 alpha: specific analysis of an isoeicosanoid as an index of oxidant stress in vivo.

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  • 1Center for Experimental Therapeutics, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia 19104, USA.


1. Excessive free radical generation is thought to contribute to tissue injury in a broad spectrum of diseases. A particular constraint in addressing this hypothesis has been the inability to assess free radical generation in vivo and the lack of information on drugs or vitamins which act as effective antioxidants in vivo. 2. Traditional approaches have relied upon measures of substrate oxidizability or spin trapping of free radical adducts ex vivo. It is unknown how these measurements might relate, in a quantitative fashion, to the generation of reactive oxygen species in vivo. Isoeicosanoids are free radical catalyzed products of arachidonic acid. One of these compounds, 8-epi prostaglandin F2 alpha (8-epi PGF2 alpha) exhibits biological activity and may function as an autacoid. Specific analysis of this 8-epi PGF2 alpha isomer indicates that it is elevated in certain syndromes thought to be associated with oxidant stress. These include vascular reperfusion, paracetamol poisoning and liver cirrhosis. Apparently healthy individuals who smoke cigarettes or consume alcohol exhibit dose dependent increments in excretion of 8-epi PGF2 alpha. Excretion is depressed by antioxidant vitamins, although not by the nonspecific cyclooxygenase (COX) inhibitor, aspirin, even though 8-epi PGF2 alpha may be formed by either COX-1 or COX-2. 3. Specific analysis of this and other isoeicosanoids may afford an opportunity to evaluate the effects of antioxidant interventions in human diseases characterized by excessive lipid peroxidation in vivo.

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