Definition of Eicosanoids

Eicosanoids are the signalling molecules which are made up by the oxidation of arachidonic acid (composed of 20 carbons) or other polyunsaturated acids that are similar in structure to arachidonic acid. The oxidation can be enzymatic or non-enzymatic. Eicosanoids are known to be the subcategory of oxylipins.


Oxylipins are fatty acids that are oxidized and have numerous carbon atoms in their molecule and are very important cell signalling molecules. The eicosanoids perform their function in inhibiting inflammation, allergy and bring out other immune responses. They contribute to the perception of pain, control blood pressure, and regulate the growth of cells. They may also act as endocrine agents that help in controlling the functions of distant cells.

View More Organic Chemistry Definitions