Journal of Trainology



December 2012; Vol. 1, No. 2: Pages 45-52

The role of prostaglandin F2α in skeletal muscle regeneration

Christi Brewer, Dwight Waddell


Prostaglandins are a diverse group of eicosanoid hormones that modulate various processes, many of which are related to inflammation. Due to this, prostaglandins are the target of cyclooxygenase (COX) inhibitor drugs. Prostaglandin F2α (PGF2α) mediates processes integral to successful skeletal muscle regeneration, roles elucidated through suppression of its production with various COX-inhibitors. Objective: To provide a comprehensive review of literature regarding roles for the COX-metabolite PGF2α in skeletal muscle regeneration and consequences of its suppression with COX-inhibitors. Design: Systematic review. Method: Recognition was given to early in vitro studies that first established roles for PGF2α in two specific regenerative processes, and attention was then directed to human experiments investigating the PGF2α response to aerobic and resistance exercise. Results: PGF2α mediates protein synthesis and satellite cell activity post-injury. Although methodological differences exist between experiments, research has unanimously demonstrated COX-mediated suppression of PGF2α diminishes these regenerative processes. Conclusions: All experiments in humans have been acute exercise interventions. Studies involving repeated exercise and repeated administration of COX-inhibitors seem warranted to determine if chronic use impedes skeletal muscle regeneration after exercise. Such a finding may hold serious implications for recreational athletes, patients, and clinicians managing musculoskeletal pain or diseases with regular use of COX-inhibitors.

Received August 24, 2012; accepted December 14, 2012