LAGUNA DESIGN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY LAGUNA DESIGN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Prostaglandin F2a molecule. Computer model showing the structure of the hormone prostaglandin F2a (PGF2a). Atoms are colour-coded (carbon: dark grey, hydrogen: light grey, oxygen: red). Like other prostaglandins PGF2a acts to widen blood vessels (vasodilation), thus lowering blood pressure and improving blood flow. It is produced by the uterus, where it triggers the breakdown of the corpus luteum (luteolysis) if no embryo has been implanted, and stops the production of progesterone. It is therefore marketed as a drug used to induce abortion (an abortifacient) when it is known as Dinoprost.
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