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Mediators of Inflammation
Volume 2012, Article ID 926968, 9 pages
Review Article

PGI2 as a Regulator of Inflammatory Diseases

Division of Allergy, Pulmonary, and Critical Care Medicine, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, T-1218 MCN, Nashville, TN 37232-2650, USA

Received 8 March 2012; Accepted 24 May 2012

Academic Editor: Nicolas Flamand

Copyright © 2012 Stacy L. Dorris and R. S. Peebles Jr. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Prostacyclin, or PGI2, is an end product derived from the sequential metabolism of arachidonic acid via cyclooxygenase and PGI synthase (PGIS). The receptor for PGI2, IP, can be found on a variety of cell types and signaling through this receptor exhibits broad physiological effects. Historically, PGI2 has been understood to play a role in cardiovascular health, specifically having powerful vasodilatory effects via relaxation of smooth muscle and inhibiting of platelet aggregation. For these reasons, PGI2 has a long history of use for the treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). Only recently, its importance as an immunomodulatory agent has been investigated. PGI2 regulates both the innate and adaptive immune systems and its effects are, for the most part, thought to be anti-inflammatory or immunosuppressive in nature, which may have implications for its further clinical use.