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Prostaglandins Other Lipid Mediat. 2010 Apr;91(3-4):104-12. doi: 10.1016/j.prostaglandins.2009.04.003. Epub 2009 Apr 11.

Emerging roles of PGE2 receptors in models of neurological disease.

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Department of Neurology and Neurological Sciences, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA 94305, USA.


This review presents an overview of the emerging field of prostaglandin signaling in neurological diseases, focusing on PGE(2) signaling through its four E-prostanoid (EP) receptors. A large number of studies have demonstrated a neurotoxic function of the inducible cyclooxygenase COX-2 in a broad spectrum of neurological disease models in the central nervous system (CNS), from models of cerebral ischemia to models of neurodegeneration and inflammation. Since COX-1 and COX-2 catalyze the first committed step in prostaglandin synthesis, an effort is underway to identify the downstream prostaglandin signaling pathways that mediate the toxic effect of COX-2. Recent epidemiologic studies demonstrate that chronic COX-2 inhibition can produce adverse cerebrovascular and cardiovascular effects, indicating that some prostaglandin signaling pathways are beneficial. Consistent with this concept, recent studies demonstrate that in the CNS, specific prostaglandin receptor signaling pathways mediate toxic effects in brain but a larger number appear to mediate paradoxically protective effects. Further complexity is emerging, as exemplified by the PGE(2) EP2 receptor, where cerebroprotective or toxic effects of a particular prostaglandin signaling pathway can differ depending on the context of cerebral injury, for example, in excitotoxicity/hypoxia paradigms versus inflammatory-mediated secondary neurotoxicity. The divergent effects of prostaglandin receptor signaling will likely depend on distinct patterns and dynamics of receptor expression in neurons, endothelial cells, and glia and the specific ways in which these cell types participate in particular models of neurological injury.

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