Fishing for prostanoids: Deciphering the developmental functions of cyclooxygenase-derived prostaglandins

Yong I. Cha, Lilianna Solnica-Krezel, Raymond N. DuBois

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

100 Scopus citations


Prostaglandin G/H synthases (PGHS), commonly referred to as cyclooxygenases (COX-1 and COX-2), catalyze a key step in the synthesis of biologically active prostaglandins (PGs), the conversion of arachidonic acid (AA) into prostaglandin H2 (PGH2). PGs have important functions in a variety of physiologic and pathologic settings, including inflammation, cardiovascular homeostasis, reproduction, and carcinogenesis. However, an evaluation of prostaglandin function in early development has been difficult due to the maternal contribution of prostaglandins from the uterus. The emergence of zebrafish as a model system has begun to provide some insights into the roles of this signaling cascade during vertebrate development. In zebrafish, COX-1 derived prostaglandins are required for two distinct stages of development, namely during gastrulation and segmentation. During gastrulation, PGE 2 signaling promotes cell motility, without altering the cell shape or directional migration of gastrulating cells. During segmentation, COX-1 signaling is also required for posterior mesoderm development, including the formation of vascular tube structures, angiogenesis of intersomitic vessels, and pronephros morphogenesis. We propose that deciphering the role for prostaglandin signaling in zebrafish development could yield insight and ultimately address the mechanistic details underlying various disease processes that result from perturbation of this pathway.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)263-272
Number of pages10
JournalDevelopmental Biology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 15 2006


  • Angiogenesis
  • Cyclooxygenase
  • Development
  • Embryogenesis
  • Gastrulation
  • Prostaglandin
  • Prostaglandin G/H synthases
  • Prostaglandin receptors
  • Zebrafish


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