Prostaglandins (PGs) are multifunctional regulators of bone metabolism that stimulate both bone resorption and formation. PGs have been implicated in bone resorption associated with inflammation and metastatic bone disease, and also in bone formation associated with fracture healing and heterotopic ossification. Recent studies have identified roles for inducible cyclooxygenase (COX)-2 and PGE(2) receptors in these processes. Although the effects of PGs have been most often associated with cAMP production and protein kinase A activation, PGs can engage an extensive G-protein signaling network. Further analysis of COX-2 and PG receptors and their downstream G-protein signaling in bone could provide important clues to the regulation of skeletal cell growth in both health and disease.
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