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Roles of prostaglandin E and EP receptors in mucosal protection and ulcer healing in the gastrointestinal tract

Endogenous prostaglandins (PG) play an important role in maintaining mucosal integrity and modulating the various functions of the gastrointestinal tract, and PGE2 is particularly effective in these actions. The receptors for PGE2 are pharmacologically classified into four specific G protein-coupled subtypes, EP1 to EP4, and the distribution of these receptors accounts for the multiple effects of PGE2 in the gastrointestinal tract. In recent years, studies using knockout mice genetically deficient of these receptors as well as their selective agonists and antagonists have gained much knowledge of the role of the PGE2 /EP receptors in gastrointestinal mucosal protection and healing. We herein review the roles of PGE2 in gastrointestinal mucosal protection and ulcer healing, focusing on the relationship with EP receptor subtypes.

Author(s): Koji Takeuchi, Kikuko Amagase