History and name
The name leukotriene comes from the words leukocyte and triene (a compound with three double bonds). What would be later named leukotriene C, "slow reaction smooth muscle-stimulating substance" (SRS) was originally described in 1938 by Feldberg and Kellaway. The researchers isolated SRS from lung tissue after a prolonged period following exposure to snake venom and histamine.
Leukotrienes act principally on a subfamily of G protein coupled receptors. They may also act upon peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors. Leukotrienes are involved in asthmatic and allergic reactions and act to sustain inflammatory reactions; several leukotriene antagonists are used to treat asthma.