Using recently developed radioimmunoassay techniques, prostaglandin concentrations were measured in two human cadaver kidneys which had been processed for transplantation but for which no recipient patients could be obtained. Portions of cortex, medulla, papilla, and ureter were obtained from each kidney. Concentrations of prostaglandin, expressed as the mean for tissues from both kidneys, in nanograms per gram wet tissue, were as follows: PGA cortex, 4.5; medulla, 18.5; papilla, 63.3; ureter, 4.6; PGE cortex, 11.6; medulla, 126.8; papilla, 226.8; ureter, 4.6; PGF cortex, 7.0; medulla, 25.0; papilla, 94.8; ureter, 3.3. Thus, steep concentration gradients exist within the human kidney for all three types of prostaglandins, with the papilla containing heaviest concentrations - the cortex the least. Prostaglandin E is present in greatest concentrations in all tissue. The presence of prostaglandins in human kidneys is consistent with a variety of proposed physiologic roles for these substances, including regulation of renal blood flow and sodium and water transport.
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