• Carboneau BA, Breyer RM, Gannon M. Regulation of pancreatic β-cell function and mass dynamics by prostaglandin signaling. Journal of cell communication and signaling. 2017 Jan 28. PMID: 28132118 [PubMed].


Prostaglandins (PGs) are signaling lipids derived from arachidonic acid (AA), which is metabolized by cyclooxygenase (COX)-1 or 2 and class-specific synthases to generate PGD2, PGE2, PGF2α, PGI2 (prostacyclin), and thromboxane A2. PGs signal through G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) and are important modulators of an array of physiological functions, including systemic inflammation and insulin secretion from pancreatic islets. The role of PGs in β-cell function has been an active area of interest, beginning in the 1970s. Early studies demonstrated that PGE2 inhibits glucose-stimulated insulin secretion (GSIS), although more recent studies have questioned this inhibitory action of PGE2. The PGE2 receptor EP3 and one of the G-proteins that couples to EP3, GαZ, have been identified as negative regulators of β-cell proliferation and survival. Conversely, PGI2 and its receptor, IP, play a positive role in the β-cell by enhancing GSIS and preserving β-cell mass in response to the β-cell toxin streptozotocin (STZ). In comparison to PGE2 and PGI2, little is known about the function of the remaining PGs within islets. In this review, we discuss the roles of PGs, particularly PGE2 and PGI2, PG receptors, and downstream signaling events that alter β-cell function and regulation of β-cell mass.