There are five major PGs (prostaglandins/prostanoids) produced from arachidonic acid via the COX (cyclo-oxygenase) pathway: PGE2, PGI2 (prostacyclin), PGD2, PGF and TXA2 (thromboxane A2). They exert many biological effects through specific G-protein-coupled membrane receptors, namely EP (PGE2 receptor), IP (PGI2 receptor), DP (PGD2 receptor), FP (PGF receptor) and TP (TXA2 receptor) respectively. PGs are implicated in physiological and pathological processes in all major organ systems, including cardiovascular function, gastrointestinal responses, reproductive processes, renal effects etc. This review highlights recent insights into the role of each prostanoid in regulating various aspects of renal function, including haemodynamics, renin secretion, growth responses, tubular transport processes and cell fate. A thorough review of the literature since Y2K (year 2000) is provided, with a general overview of PGs and their synthesis enzymes, and then specific considerations of each PG/prostanoid receptor system in the kidney.

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