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Nat Immunol. 2001 Jul;2(7):612-9.

Lipid mediator class switching during acute inflammation: signals in resolution.

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Center for Experimental Therapeutics and Reperfusion Injury, Department of Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, 75 Francis Street, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


Leukotrienes (LTs) and prostaglandins (PGs) amplify acute inflammation, whereas lipoxins (LXs) have unique anti-inflammatory actions. Temporal analyses of these eicosanoids in clinical and experimental exudates showed early coordinate appearance of LT and PG with polymorphonuclear neutrophil (PMN) recruitment. This was followed by LX biosynthesis, which was concurrent with spontaneous resolution. Human peripheral blood PMNs exposed to PGE2 (as in exudates) switched eicosanoid biosynthesis from predominantly LTB4 and 5-lipoxygenase (5-LO)-initiated pathways to LXA4, a 15-LO product that "stopped" PMN infiltration. These results indicate that first-phase eicosanoids promote a shift to anti-inflammatory lipids: functionally distinct lipid-mediator profiles switch during acute exudate formation to "reprogram" the exudate PMNs to promote resolution.

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