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Prostaglandins and Asthma

CHARLES W. PARKER, M.D.; and DIXIE E. SNIDER, M.D.
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Department of Medicine, The Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis Missouri


Ann Intern Med. 1973;78(6):963-965. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-78-6-963
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The prostaglandins are 20-carbon, aliphatic, monocarboxylic acids with a five-membered ring and one or more unsaturated double bonds. They are found throughout the plant and animal kingdom and are present in virtually every tissue of the human body, but there is little information on their normal physiological function or their role in human disease. It has been known since the early 1930s that prostaglandins have potent effects on smooth-muscle tone (1). In the past decade these compounds have been shown to be in the human lung (2, 3) and to be capable of contracting or dilating bronchial muscle (4-7). Inevitably

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