Infection and injury induce self-limited inflammatory responses that mount a defense against pathogens and initiate activities that expedite recovery. However, the benefits of inflammation recede when these responses fail to resolve in a timely manner. This series features a family of specialized lipid mediators that regulate the resolution of inflammation. The reviews, curated by Charles Serhan, highlight the wide-ranging involvement of these bioactive lipids in health and disease. Work by Serhan and others has revealed that the resolvin, protectin, and maresin families of pro-resolving mediators act as immunoresolvents and represent promising alternatives to immunosuppressant and anti-inflammatory therapies. Other lipid mediators, including leukotrienes, ceramides, and sphingolipids have roles in cancer, cardiovascular disease, and aging. Our evolving understanding of lipid mediators in regulating inflammation and disease pathogenesis presents promising opportunities for new therapeutic strategies.
Countless times each day, the acute inflammatory response protects us from invading microbes, injuries, and insults from within, as in surgery-induced tissue injury. These challenges go unnoticed because they are self-limited and naturally resolve without progressing to chronic inflammation. Peripheral blood markers of inflammation are present in many common diseases, including inflammatory bowel disease, cardiovascular disease, neurodegenerative disease, and cancer. While acute inflammation is protective, excessive swarming of neutrophils amplifies collateral tissue damage and inflammation. Hence, understanding the mechanisms that control the resolution of acute inflammation provides insight into preventing and treating inflammatory diseases in multiple organs. This Review focuses on the resolution phase of inflammation with identification of specialized pro-resolving mediators (SPMs) that involve three separate biosynthetic and potent mediator families, which are defined using the first quantitative resolution indices to score this vital process. These are the resolvins, protectins, and maresins: bioactive metabolomes that each stimulate self-limited innate responses, enhance innate microbial killing and clearance, and are organ-protective. We briefly address biosynthesis of SPMs and their activation of endogenous resolution programs as terrain for new therapeutic approaches that are not, by definition, immunosuppressive, but rather new immunoresolvent therapies.
Charles N. Serhan, Bruce D. Levy
Phospholipids comprise a large body of lipids that define cells and organelles by forming membrane structures. Importantly, their complex metabolism represents a highly controlled cellular signaling network that is essential for mounting an effective innate immune response. Phospholipids in innate cells are subject to dynamic regulation by enzymes, whose activities are highly responsive to activation status. Along with their metabolic products, they regulate multiple aspects of innate immune cell biology, including shape change, aggregation, blood clotting, and degranulation. Phospholipid hydrolysis provides substrates for cell-cell communication, enables regulation of hemostasis, immunity, thrombosis, and vascular inflammation, and is centrally important in cardiovascular disease and associated comorbidities. Phospholipids themselves are also recognized by innate-like T cells, which are considered essential for recognition of infection or cancer, as well as self-antigens. This Review describes the major phospholipid metabolic pathways present in innate immune cells and summarizes the formation and metabolism of phospholipids as well as their emerging roles in cell biology and disease.
Valerie B. O’Donnell, Jamie Rossjohn, Michael J.O. Wakelam
Leukotrienes, a class of arachidonic acid–derived bioactive molecules, are known as mediators of allergic and inflammatory reactions and considered to be important drug targets. Although an inhibitor of leukotriene biosynthesis and antagonists of the cysteinyl leukotriene receptor are clinically used for bronchial asthma and allergic rhinitis, these medications were developed before the molecular identification of leukotriene receptors. Numerous studies using cloned leukotriene receptors and genetically engineered mice have unveiled new pathophysiological roles for leukotrienes. This Review covers the recent findings on leukotriene receptors to revisit them as new drug targets.
Takehiko Yokomizo, Motonao Nakamura, Takao Shimizu
Chronic inflammation is a risk factor for gastrointestinal cancer and other diseases. Most studies have focused on cytokines and chemokines as mediators connecting chronic inflammation to cancer, whereas the involvement of lipid mediators, including prostanoids, has not been extensively investigated. Prostanoids are among the earliest signaling molecules released in response to inflammation. Multiple lines of evidence suggest that prostanoids are involved in gastrointestinal cancer. In this Review, we discuss how prostanoids impact gastrointestinal cancer development. In particular, we highlight recent advances in our understanding of how prostaglandin E2 induces the immunosuppressive microenvironment in gastrointestinal cancers.
Dingzhi Wang, Raymond N. DuBois