Prostaglandins (PG's) are produced by the metabolism of arachidonic acid. PGE-2 is one of the five physiologically significant prostanoids known. ItÕs wide spectrum of physiologic and pharmacologic effects in various tissues are mediated through binding to the PGE-2 receptors (EP1, EP2, EP3 & EP4). These include effects on the immune, endocrine, cardiovascular, renal and reproductive systems as well as smooth muscle. It is also one of the most abundant of the prostanoid family in the brain where it plays an important role in many neural functions, particularly in newborn babies, and as a mediator of inflammation. _x000B__x000B_PGE-2 signals through a family of G-protein coupled receptors known as EP receptors. There are 4 subtypes of EP receptors, known as EP1, EP2, EP3 and EP4. EP3 receptors are 365-425 amino acid proteins. There are currently 4 known isoforms of EP3 receptors named EP3A, 3B, 3C and 3D. Each of has different physiological function, but differ only in the carboxyl terminus and how they couple to their respective G-proteins. EP3 receptors are involved in water absorption, gastric acid secretion, uterine contraction, neurotransmitter release and the hydrolysis of fat cells (lipolysis). EP3 receptors also act as a mediator of neural inflammation. These receptors are mainly localized in the brain, kidney, stomach, uterus and ovaries.
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