International Conference on Prostaglandins, Vienna, Austria, 25-28 September 1972.
OFFICE OF NAVAL RESEARCH LONDON (ENGLAND)
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The Conference demonstrated a broad interest by scientists in a new group of hormone-like substances which are just being recognized as mediators of many physiological and pathological responses. They are complex they seem to be formed at the cell membrane level, and as small molecules, they stimulate the release of other small molecules. The prostaglandins are not essential for survival of cells, but practically all of the organs in the body are affected by their presence. Although the emphasis, at present, is on the control of pregnancy, the prostaglandins will soon be receiving serious attention in physiological situations involving neuromuscular responses, particularly of the emergency type in stress situations involving brain, lung and central nervous system and in cascading reactions such as occur in clotting, the release of the catechol amines, and complement activation. They will also turn out to be of importance in the initial phases of acute reactions to injury such as burns, shock states, the crush syndrome, and anaphylaxis. The exact role of prostaglandins in maintaining cell nutrition and in regulating hormone release is still to be elucidated. Author Modified Abstract