arachidonic acid

noun ar·a·chi·don·ic acid \ ˌar-ə-kə-ˈdä-nik- \

Definition of arachidonic acid

:a liquid unsaturated fatty acid C20H32O2 that occurs in most animal fats, is a precursor of prostaglandins, and is considered essential in animal nutrition

Origin and Etymology of arachidonic acid

New Latin Arachid-, Arachis + English -onic (as in gluconic acid)


Medical Dictionary

arachidonic acid

noun ar·a·chi·don·ic acid \ ˌar-ə-kə-ˌdän-ik- \

medical Definition of arachidonic acid

:a liquid unsaturated fatty acid C20H32O2 that occurs in most animal fats, is a precursor of prostaglandins and leukotrienes, and is considered essential in animal nutrition
  • In a biological system for the regulation of various cell functions, arachidonic acid plays a unique role as a precursor molecule which is transformed into potent mediators with far-ranging effects.
  • —Bengt SamuelssonScience6 May 1983
  • The prostaglandins and the leukotrienes share a common origin. They are derived, by two different enzymatic pathways, from arachidonic acid, which is formed in cells whose cell membrane has been disrupted.
  • —Paul D. BuisseretScientific AmericanAugust 1982
  • Fish and other vertebrates also rely on arachidonic acid, another fat, to make compounds for managing stress and immunity.
  • —Janet RaloffScience News13 May 2000
  • Pulmonary hypertension is thought to be due to activation and release of vasoactive mediators, including arachidonic acid metabolites, accompanied by diffuse pulmonary microvascular thrombosis
  • —Harriet Kitzman et al.The Journal of the American Medical Association19 Apr. 2000
abbreviation AA, ARA

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