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Lipid Mediators in Inflammation

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  • Authors: Melanie Bennett1, Derek W. Gilroy2
  • Editor: Siamon Gordon3
    Affiliations: 1: Roche Products Limited, Shire Park, Welwyn Garden City AL7 1TW, United Kingdom; 2: Centre for Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Division of Medicine, University College London, London WC1 E6JJ, United Kingdom; 3: Oxford University, Oxford, United Kingdom
  • Source: microbiolspec November 2016 vol. 4 no. 6 doi:10.1128/microbiolspec.MCHD-0035-2016
  • Received 18 May 2016 Accepted 26 September 2016 Published 11 November 2016
  • Derek W. Gilroy, [email protected]
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  • Abstract:

    Lipids are potent signaling molecules that regulate a multitude of cellular responses, including cell growth and death and inflammation/infection, via receptor-mediated pathways. Derived from polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), such as arachidonic acid (AA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), each lipid displays unique properties, thus making their role in inflammation distinct from that of other lipids derived from the same PUFA. This diversity arises from their synthesis, which occurs via discrete enzymatic pathways and because they elicit responses via different receptors. This review will collate the bioactive lipid research to date and summarize the major pathways involved in their biosynthesis and role in inflammation. Specifically, lipids derived from AA (prostanoids, leukotrienes, 5-oxo-6,8,11,14-eicosatetraenoic acid, lipoxins, and epoxyeicosatrienoic acids), EPA (E-series resolvins), and DHA (D-series resolvins, protectins, and maresins) will be discussed herein.

  • Citation: Bennett M, Gilroy D. 2016. Lipid Mediators in Inflammation. Microbiol Spectrum 4(6):MCHD-0035-2016. doi:10.1128/microbiolspec.MCHD-0035-2016.


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Lipids are potent signaling molecules that regulate a multitude of cellular responses, including cell growth and death and inflammation/infection, via receptor-mediated pathways. Derived from polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), such as arachidonic acid (AA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), each lipid displays unique properties, thus making their role in inflammation distinct from that of other lipids derived from the same PUFA. This diversity arises from their synthesis, which occurs via discrete enzymatic pathways and because they elicit responses via different receptors. This review will collate the bioactive lipid research to date and summarize the major pathways involved in their biosynthesis and role in inflammation. Specifically, lipids derived from AA (prostanoids, leukotrienes, 5-oxo-6,8,11,14-eicosatetraenoic acid, lipoxins, and epoxyeicosatrienoic acids), EPA (E-series resolvins), and DHA (D-series resolvins, protectins, and maresins) will be discussed herein.

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