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Anesthesiol Clin. 2006 Jun;24(2):341-64.

Novel chemical mediators in the resolution of inflammation: resolvins and protectins.

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  • 1Center 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.


Resolvins and protectins are new families consisting of distinct chemical series of lipid-derived mediators, each with unique structures and apparent complementary anti-inflammatory actions. Both families of compounds, Rv and protectins, are also generated when aspirin is given in mammalian systems in their respective epimeric forms. The resolvins and protectins each dampen inflammation and PMN-mediated injury from within, which is a key culprit in many common human diseases. The results of these initial studies underscore the roles of resolvins and protectins in inflammation resolution as well as catabasis and spotlight the therapeutic potential for this new arena of immunomodulation and host protection. It is likely that the resolvins, protectins, and their AT-related forms may play roles in other tissues and organs. Moreover, it is noteworthy that fish (eg, trout) generate lipoxygenase products such as LXAs from endogenous EPA and also biosynthesize RvDs and protectins from endogenous DHA. Taken together, these findings suggest that these novel lipid mediators (eg, resolvins and protectins) are conserved in evolution as self-protective and host-protective chemical mediators. In view of the essential roles of DHA and EPA in human biology and medicine uncovered to date, the physiologic relevance of the resolvins and protectins is likely to extend beyond our current appreciation.

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