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Therapeutic Targets in Prostaglandin E2 Signaling for Neurologic Disease

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Prostaglandins (PGs) are potent autocrine and paracrine oxygenated lipid molecules that contribute appreciably to physiologic and pathophysiologic responses in almost all organs, including brain. Emerging data indicate that the PGs, and more specifically PGE2, play a central role in brain diseases including ischemic injury and several neurodegenerative diseases. Given concerns over the potential toxicity from protracted use of cyclooxygenase inhibitors in the elderly, attention is now focused on blocking PGE2 signaling that is mediated by interactions with four distinct G protein-coupled receptors, EP1-4, which are differentially expressed on neuronal and glial cells throughout the central nervous system. EP1 activation has been shown to mediate Ca2+-dependent neurotoxicity in ischemic injury. EP2 activation has been shown to mediate microglial-induced paracrine neurotoxicity as well as suppress microglia internalization of aggregated neurotoxic peptides. Animal models support the potential efficacy of targeting specific EP receptor subtypes in Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and ischemic stroke. However promising these preclinical studies are, they have yet to be followed by clinical trials targeting any EP receptor in neurologic diseases.
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Keywords: CNS; EP receptors; PGE2; Prostaglandins; neurodegeneration

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Division of Neuropathology, University of Washington School of Medicine, Box 359791, Harborview Medical Center, Seattle, WA 98104, USA.

Publication date: 2008-08-01

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