Regulation of the immune response by prostaglandins

J Clin Immunol. 1983 Oct;3(4):295-315. doi: 10.1007/BF00915791.


Of all the arachidonic acid metabolites, only prostaglandin E (PGE) has been shown to have a clear role in the regulation of cellular and humoral immune responses. In cellular immune responses such as T cell proliferation, lymphokine production, and cytotoxicity, PGE usually acts as a feedback inhibitor of the response. This is also true of macrophage and natural killer cytotoxicity. In some instances PGE is responsible for cellular activation rather than inhibition. This is clearest in the control of humoral immunity, where PGE production is a necessary component in the generation of some type of T suppressor cells. Disturbances in immune function found in several human conditions and diseases have been linked to changes in PGE mediated immunoregulation. Either increased production of PGE or increased sensitivity to PGE results in depressed cellular immunity. Conversely drugs which inhibit PGE production act as stimulants of cellular immune function in vitro and in vivo.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Animals
  • Antibody Formation
  • Autoantibodies / biosynthesis
  • Cattle
  • Cell Transformation, Neoplastic / immunology
  • Cyclooxygenase Inhibitors
  • Dinoprostone
  • Feedback
  • Guinea Pigs
  • Humans
  • Hypersensitivity, Delayed / immunology
  • Immunity, Cellular
  • Indomethacin / administration & dosage
  • Lymphocyte Activation
  • Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Lymphocytes / physiology
  • Mice
  • Prostaglandin Antagonists / administration & dosage
  • Prostaglandins E / biosynthesis
  • Prostaglandins E / metabolism
  • Prostaglandins E / physiology*
  • Receptors, Prostaglandin / analysis
  • Receptors, Prostaglandin E
  • T-Lymphocytes, Helper-Inducer / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory / immunology


  • Autoantibodies
  • Cyclooxygenase Inhibitors
  • Prostaglandin Antagonists
  • Prostaglandins E
  • Receptors, Prostaglandin
  • Receptors, Prostaglandin E
  • Dinoprostone
  • Indomethacin