Prostacyclin (PGI2) inhibits platelet aggregation and vasoconstriction. PGI2 synthase (PGIS), a catalyst of PGI2 formation from prostaglandin H2, is widely distributed and predominantly found in vascular endothelial and smooth muscle cells. Vane et al. first discovered PGI2 in 1976, for which they received the Nobel Prize in medicine and physiology in 1982. However, the later discovery of nitric oxide (NO), which also resulted in a Nobel Prize for the scientists involved, led to less attention being focused on PGI2. The reason for this is somewhat perplexing and may have been due to the lack of information on how to correctly use PGI2. Current findings suggest that researchers concentrated too much effort on the therapeutic effects of PGI2, while largely ignoring the potential for preventative effects. In addition, PGI2 was shown to be effective against diseases in some studies but was without effect in others. The present paper contains a review of PGI2 and PGIS, in addition to an examination of the relationship between PGIS gene mutations and cardiovascular diseases. PGI2 analogues that can be used in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases are also discussed.
Keywords: Prostacyclin, association study, prevention, cardiovascular diseases, mutation, polymorphism
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