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Autacoids - Definition, Function, Classification and General Overview

Updated on July 1, 2011
Structure of Histamine.
Structure of Histamine.


What is an autacoid? What is the definition? Auto means self and Akos means remedy. So autacoids basically can be defined as the chemical substances produced within the body to help in the remedy of local injuries.

Autacoids can be released by various stimuli and when released they bring about many physiological changes such as reddening of the skin, pain, itching, bronchospasm, etc. These effects can sometimes be undesirable and cause death. To prevent these autacoids antagonists are used.

Autacoids usually have very brief lifetime and act near the site of synthesis (local action).


1) Decarboxylated amino acids

a) Histamine

b) Serotonin

2) Polypeptide

a) Angiotensin

b) Plasmakinin

c) Vasopressin

d) Vasoactive Intestinal Polypeptide

e) Substance P

f) Slow reacting substance of anaphylaxis

3) Eicosanoid

a) Leukotrienes

b) Thromboxanes

c) Prostaglandins

Now it has been discovered that some autacoids are also found in nervous tissues. These are:

1. Histamine

2. Serotonin ( H hydroxytryptamine)

3. Prostaglandin

In the nervous tissues these autacoids function as neurotransmitters.

What’s the difference between autacoids and hormones?

1. Autacoids are produced by virtually all cells but hormones are produced by specific cells. Eg, insulin can only be produced by B cells of islets of Langerhans of pancreas.

2. Autacoids mainly act locally, ie, act near their site of synthesis but hormones are transported through the blood and act at distant target tissues.

Having said that, there are some hormones which can act as autacoids. For example, prostaglandins! Prostaglandin is a local hormone which also acts as an autacoid! This makes me want to say, “What’s there in a name?”!

So generally speaking, what’s the function of autacoids?

They take part in:

1. Inflammation

2. Allergic reactions

3. Anaphylactic reactions( not so much)

4. Neurotransmission

5. Gastric acid secretion

6. Neuroendocrine regulation

In the central nervous system, they are responsible for

1. Wakefulness

2. Decreased Appetite

3. Regulation of drinking

4. Regulation of temperature

5. Secretion of ADH

6. Control of blood pressure

7. Perception of pain.

We’ll discuss more about autacoids in the coming future. So stay tuned!


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    • profile image

      Drx Ibad Ali Saifi 4 weeks ago

      It's very good topic and these classification

      Thenku so much

    • profile image

      sk 11 months ago


    • profile image

      Betsy 15 months ago

      good info..

    • profile image

      Ashok yadav 16 months ago

      This is very helpful for me

    • profile image

      Jan 2 years ago

      I am missing the lipid autacoids such as the N-acyethanolamides, like palmitoylethanolamide, the resolvins, the protectins, the maresins... especially important since these all modulate explosive inflammation processes.....

    • profile image

      dodo 2 years ago

      thanks dats a concise information.

    • profile image

      Dastagiri 2 years ago

      So nice information

      Thank you

    • profile image

      Rakesh Mudideni 2 years ago

      Good. It's easy to understand. But, need some stuff.

    • profile image

      Malik Dawood 2 years ago

      Wonderful keypoint notes. Good for revision. Thanks.

    • profile image

      Pradeep Singh 3 years ago

      I like this.....


    • profile image

      k.shiva 3 years ago

      Gd info thank u

    • profile image

      dr. naveed 3 years ago


    • profile image

      Bashir sani illela 3 years ago

      Very nice thanks, but its too brief more stuffs are highly needed, such as mechanism of action, therapeutic uses, contra indications e.t.c for the benefit of student on reserch like me.

    • profile image

      damini gupta 3 years ago

      its vry gd topic..n thnku so much..

    • profile image

      fffff 3 years ago


    • profile image

      syed daman 3 years ago

      A reliable source .....

    • profile image

      DEEPAK SHARMA 3 years ago


    • profile image

      kos 3 years ago


    • profile image

      Kona Sai Vasu Dev 3 years ago

      as i'm a subject minded fellow i am not satisfied with this matter i want more stuff.....

    • profile image

      Dr.Sk.Iquebal Alam 3 years ago


    • profile image

      stella 3 years ago

      Nice .easy and better remembering

    • profile image



    • profile image

      Amitab, DVM 3 years ago

      GOOD. Easy to keep in mind.

    • profile image

      dr.sanaulasyar 4 years ago

      it is good and comprehensive

    • profile image

      ASAMINEW AZAD 4 years ago

      I LIKE THIS.

    • profile image

      dipendta 4 years ago

      Awesome, this

    • profile image

      nice...... 4 years ago


    • profile image

      rishika 4 years ago

      nyc 1.... but not too brief

    • profile image

      Raja Sandeep 4 years ago

      V.nice ...

    • profile image

      santosh keskar 4 years ago


    • profile image

      vandana yadav 4 years ago

      it is so helpful thanks...

    • profile image

      shafiullah khan 4 years ago

      i like it so much

    • profile image

      silmarllion 4 years ago

      helpful article. thank you.

    • profile image

      saher 4 years ago

      thanks ot is very easy thanks 4 help

    • profile image

      Shameem 4 years ago

      Very good information ,thank you very much

    • profile image

      endalamaw yehuala 4 years ago

      a good info.......

    • profile image

      nitin wat's 4 years ago

      there is very easy to understand the autocoids....good..

    • profile image

      Raj 4 years ago

      It's too good...i can understand it easily

    • profile image

      hebatullah 4 years ago

      good information

      thank you

    • profile image 4 years ago

      Very nice &comprehensive

    • profile image

      dixita kanojia 4 years ago

      nice topic..... more lern in small contain.........

    • profile image

      jameel veesar 4 years ago

      quite good ,soo brief

    • profile image

      ramjan khan 5 years ago

      good ..............

    • epharmacology profile image

      Oyon B 5 years ago

      Hi, nice article. I have also started writing about pharmacology on hubpages. You can see my page

      All the best.

    • profile image

      david 5 years ago

      people like u are wot we need in the nation.Plz, keep it on

    • profile image

      raghvendra jha 6 years ago

      it such a nice topic about the autocoids thanks

    • profile image

      katumba bruno. 6 years ago

      This was so nice,no book explained me like u had done thanks.

    • profile image

      BABLU VIMAL 6 years ago


    • profile image

      althafhyder-india 6 years ago


    • profile image

      abdallah gamal 6 years ago


    • profile image

      ALAGI A.B.JARJU 6 years ago


    • profile image

      Oyon 6 years ago

      Hmmm.... Good article... But it could have been better... try visiting my website for more info...


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