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The term eicosanoids covers prostaglandins, thromboxanes and leukotrienes. These are derivatives of polyunsaturated fatty acids, especially arachidonic acid. They are formed in most human tissues, where they modulate a large number of hormonal and other stimuli. They also play an important role in hypersensitivity and inflammatory reactions. While cyclooxygenase enzymes are involved in the formation of prostaglandins and thromboxanes, leukotrienes are formed by lipoxygenase.