Leukotrienes are fatty signaling molecules. They were first found in leukocytes (hence their name). One of their roles (specifically, leukotriene D4) is to trigger contractions in the smooth muscles lining the trachea; their overproduction is a major cause of inflammation in asthma and allergic rhinitis. Leukotriene antagonists are used to treat these diseases by inhibiting the production or activity of leukotrienes.

Leukotrienes produced within a cell convey signals that act either on the cell producing them (autocrine signalling) or on vicinal cells (paracrine signalling) to regulate the immune response.

Leukotrienes are naturally produced eicosanoid lipid mediators. They are produced in the body from arachidonic acid by the enzyme 5-lipoxygenase. Their production usually accompanies the production of histamine.

Read more about LeukotrieneTypes, History and Name, Leukotrienes in Asthma

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