Isoprostanes are not mere bystanders of oxidative injury, but possess potent biological activity and may thus contribute to the pathophysiology of various disorders associated with an increase in free radical formation. 15-F2t-IsoP (8-iso-prostaglandin F2α) and 15-E 2t-IsoP (8-iso-prostaglandin E2), two of the most abundant isoprostanes, are potent vasoconstrictors in various vascular beds, including the kidney. Since their discovery, numerous studies have aimed to define the receptors through which isoprostanes exert their effects. Whether the thromboxane receptor and/or other prostaglandin receptors mediate the actions of isoprostanes, or whether these compounds interact with their own unique receptors, remains to be clarified. Regardless of their exact mode of action, isoprostanes are being implicated in the pathophysiology of a variety of diseases, and their discovery might give rise to novel therapies for these diseases. Here we describe early studies that defined the vasoactive properties of isoprostanes in the kidney, and subsequent discoveries relating to their renal actions and pathophysiologic significance.
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