Prostaglandin E(2) is produced in inflammatory responses via the cyclooxygenase pathway and regulates a variety of physiological and pathological reactions through four different receptor subtypes; EP(1), EP(2), EP(3) and EP(4). The role of the classical prostanoid receptors stimulated by prostaglandin I(2) and thromboxane A(2) in the blood circulation has been largely studied, whereas the other receptors such as EP activated by prostaglandin E(2), have been recently shown to be also implicated. There is now increasing evidence suggesting an important role of EP(3) and EP(4) receptor subtypes in the control of the human vascular tone and remodeling of the vascular wall as well in platelet aggregation and thrombosis. These receptors are implicated in vascular homeostasis and in the development of some pathological situations, such as atherosclerosis, aneurysms and hypertension. The use of specific EP agonists/antagonists would provide a novel cardiovascular therapeutic approach. In this review, we discuss the role of prostaglandin E(2) receptors in the control of human blood and vascular cells.
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