||Leukotrienes and prostaglandins possess properties which are central in the asthmatic reaction. They are bronchoconstrictors, they inhibit the mucociliary clearance, increase blood flow and permeability and thereby induce edema formation, and they attract and activate leukocytes. They are formed partly by allergic reactions and partly by a large number of other more non-specific reactions. Finally, the concentration of prostanoids has been found increased in the asthmatic reaction in vivo. The leukotrienes have not been traced in vivo in asthmatic attacks so far, but have been found in vivo in man in a specific type I allergic conjunctival reaction. Much evidence suggests that these mediators are relevant in asthmatic diseases, even though prostaglandin inhibitors have no effect in asthma. There still remains the need to investigate the influence on asthmatic diseases by as yet unavailable leukotriene blocking agents. Even though leukotrienes are judged today to be important mediators in asthma, it does not seem reasonable to expect that a single mediator is responsible for asthmatic diseases. Rather, it seems quite likely that asthma is caused by a complex interplay of a large number of mediators, circulating hormones, nervous mechanisms, receptor abnormalities, intracellular metabolic defects, etc. Despite this complexity, investigations in recent years have increased the knowledge of the biochemistry and human physiological effects of leukotrienes and prostaglandins which has created an improved understanding of the asthmatic reaction's pathophysiology, contributed a pharmacological rationale for previously used therapy, and stimulated new perspectives for specific pharmacological research.