The acid hydrolase N-acetyl-beta-glucosaminidase (NAG) was used to examine the effects of prostaglandins E1 (PGE1), E2 (PGE2), and F2 alpha (PGF2 alpha) on the lysosomal system of human synovial cells in vitro. A spontaneous release of the enzyme occurred from control cultures, which was accelerated by each of the prostaglandins in a concentration-dependent manner, within the range of 10(-8)-10(-6) moles per litre (M). No clear order of potency could be established. The effects of the prostaglandins on release of NAG were less consistent and of smaller magnitude when human serum was replaced by bovine serum albumin in the medium. In the presence of serum small increases also occurred in intracellular NAG activity, but only the effect of PGE1 was statistically significant. The prostaglandins did not appreciably affect the previously established pattern of increased intracellular activity of NAG and reduced release produced by sucrose.
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