Cells of the lung produce and secrete substances that may exert a local action (i.e., autocrine or paracrine function) or, through passage into the pulmonary circulation, a systemic action (i.e., endocrine function). Prostacyclin, a potent vasodilator and inhibitor of platelet aggregation, is generated by pulmonary endothelium [46]. Antigenic challenge of sensitized airways induces the release of bronchoactive and vasoactive mediators from the airways, including histamine, prostaglandins, and leukotrienes [47], that, aside from exerting local bronchoconstrictor and vascular actions, can spill over into the pulmonary circulation to have actions in organs other than the lungs.

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