Bengt Samuelsson: Nobel Prize Winner for describing Prostaglandins - WorldOfChemicals

Bengt Samuelsson – describer of molecular structure of pr prostaglandins

Bengt Samuelsson

Biography & Contributions

Bengt Samuelsson [Bengt Ingemar Samuelsson] is a Swedish biochemist and Nobel laureate born on May 21, 1934. Samuelsson is described the molecular structure of a prostaglandin, a family of natural compounds that influence blood pressure, body temperature, allergic reactions, and other physiological phenomena in mammals.

Samuelsson took many awards and prizes in his career like Swedish Medical Association's Jubilee Award in the year of 1968, Anders Jahres Award in the year of 1970, Gross Horwitz Prize in the year of 1975, Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award in the year of 1977, Ciba Geigy Drew Award in the year of 1980, Swedish Medical Association's Jubilee Award, The Gairdner Foundation Award and Heinrich Wieland Prize in the year of 1981, The Bror Holmberg Medal, Waterford Bio-Medical Science Award, Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in the year of 1982.

After the structural work on prostaglandins with Sune Bergstrom in 1959-1962 he has mainly been interested in transformation products of arachidonic acid. This work was led to the discovery of endoperoxides, thromboxanes and the leukotrienes, and his group studied chemistry, biochemistry and biology of these compounds and their role in biological control systems.


Prostaglandins are a group of physiologically active lipid compounds having diverse hormone-like effects in animals. Prostaglandins have been found in almost every tissue in humans and other animals. They are derived enzymatically from fatty acids. Every prostaglandin contains 20 carbon atoms, including a 5-carbon ring. They are a subclass of eicosanoids and form the prostanoid class of fatty acid derivatives. Prostaglandins have two derivatives: prostacyclins and thromboxanes.

Prostacyclins are powerful locally acting vasodilators and inhibit the aggregation of blood platelets. Prostacyclins are synthesized in the walls of blood vessels and serve the physiological function of preventing needless clot formation. Prostacyclins are responsible for regulating the contraction of smooth muscle tissue. Prostaglandins are found in most tissues and organs. They are produced by almost all nucleated cells. They are autocrine and paracrine lipid mediators that act upon platelets, endothelium, uterine and mast cells. They are synthesized in the cell from the essential fatty acids (EFAs).


Thromboxane is a member of the family of lipids known as eicosanoids and they are named for its role in clot formation. Thromboxane acts by binding to any of the thromboxane receptors, G-protein-coupled receptors coupled to the G protein Gq.Thromboxane is a vasoconstrictor and a potent hypertensive agent, and it facilitates platelet aggregation. It is in homeostatic balance in the circulatory system with prostacyclin, a related compound.

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