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August 1987

Prostaglandins: Old Concepts and New Perspectives

Arch Ophthalmol. 1987;105(8):1036-1039. doi:10.1001/archopht.1987.01060080038023

An article in this issue of the Archives by Crawford and Kaufman1 provides substantial evidence that the intraocular pressure (IOP)-lowering effect of topically applied prostaglandin F (PGF) results from an increase in uveoscleral outflow. To fully appreciate the significance of the article, we must look briefly at the history of our understanding of the ocular effects not only of PGF but of the whole family of arachidonic acid derivatives, the eicosanoids.

Although the name prostaglandin was coined in 1934, several decades passed before it was recognized that prostaglandins are ubiquitous local hormones that are synthesized by virtually all tissues of the body and can affect these tissues in various ways. Ambache2 first demonstrated their synthesis by intraocular tissues. In a search for the mediators of the irritative response of the rabbit eye, a phenomenon that can be most annoying to ocular

See also p 1112.