A generic term used to describe a group of polypeptides with related chemical structures and pharmacological properties that are widely distributed in nature. These peptides are AUTACOIDS that act locally to produce pain, vasodilatation, increased vascular permeability, and the synthesis of prostaglandins. Thus, they comprise a subset of the large number of mediators that contribute to the inflammatory response. (From Goodman and Gilman's The Pharmacologic Basis of Therapeutics, 8th ed, p588)