Tick salivary prostaglandins: Presence, origin and significance

Parasitol Today. 1996 Oct;12(10):388-96. doi: 10.1016/0169-4758(96)10061-2.


Prostaglandins (PGs) are oxygenated metabolites of polyunsaturated fatty acids, most notably arachidonic acid, that act as 'local hormones', regulating a plethora of physiological processes in mammals and other vertebrates. For a long time, PGs were reported only in higher vertebrates, but more recently they have been reported in lower organisms such as bacteria, yeasts and protozoa, and much information is now available on PGs in insects. Prostaglandins are increasingly reported to exist at the host-parasite interface and are thought to aid the parasite by modulating the inflammatory and immune response. Ticks secrete saliva containing extremely high concentrations of PGs into the host, and in this article Alan Bowman, Jack Dillwith and John Sauer provide a synopsis of the information, to date, on the presence, synthesis and proposed roles for these tick salivary PGs.