Increased prostaglandin synthesis occurs m response to a range of immunological stimuli. The prostaglandins so produced mediate fever and increase blood flow to sites of infection and inflammation. Prostaglandins, particulary PGF.2, also modulate the function of immunocompetent cells. At concentrations detected at sites of inflammation, PGE2 can downregulate the function of macrophages and T lymphocytes. Consequently, inhibition of PG synthesis by NSAIDs may exacerbate some aspects of autoimmune disease such as those occurring in chronic arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease.
See also: Annexins (lipocortins); Anti-inflammatory (nonsteroidal) drugs; Arachidonic acid and the leuko-trienes; Autoimmune diseases; Cytokines; Fever; Macrophage activation; Protein kinases; T lymphocyte activation.
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