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Prostaglandins are synthesized from eicosa-8,11,14-trienoic acid and eicosa-5,8,11-14-tetraenoic acid by smooth muscle cell cultures from guinea pig aorta. Production is inhibited by indomethacin. The precursor fatty acids and their prostaglandin derivatives inhibit proliferation of the cell cultures. The relative availability of fatty acids for prostaglandin biosynthesis may represent a control mechanism for cell proliferation.