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Curr Opin Pharmacol. 2013 Jun;13(3):476-81. doi: 10.1016/j.coph.2013.02.003. Epub 2013 Feb 21.

The role of omega-3 derived resolvins in arthritis.

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  • 1The William Harvey Research Institute, Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Charterhouse Square, London EC1M 6BQ, UK.


Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) are known to alleviate joint stiffness and pain in rheumatoid arthritis patients. However, the mechanisms by which omega-3s exert their beneficial effects has not been fully explored. Herein we discuss a novel class of bioactive lipid mediators, which are enzymatically biosynthesized in vivo from omega-3 eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), termed resolvins. These lipid mediators exert anti-inflammatory and pro-resolving properties and are log-orders more potent than their precursors. We also highlight that formation of pro-resolving mediators can be enhanced by widely used anti-inflammatory and cardioprotective drugs (aspirin and statins) via the modification of cyclooxygenase-2 enzymatic activity. These bioactive pro-resolving lipid mediators provide further rationale for the beneficial effects of dietary supplementation with fish oils, and offer new avenues for developing therapeutics for inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis.

Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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