Lipoxins and aspirin-triggered 15-epi-lipoxins are the first lipid mediators of endogenous anti-inflammation and resolution

Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids. 2005 Sep-Oct;73(3-4):141-62. doi: 10.1016/j.plefa.2005.05.002.


Lipoxins (LXs) or the lipoxygenase interaction products are generated from arachidonic acid via sequential actions of lipoxygenases and subsequent reactions to give specific trihydroxytetraene-containing eicosanoids. These unique structures are formed during cell-cell interactions and appear to act at both temporal and spatially distinct sites from other eicosanoids produced during the course of inflammatory responses and to stimulate natural resolution. Lipoxin A4 (LXA4) and lipoxin B4 (LXB4) are positional isomers that each possesses potent cellular and in vivo actions. These LX structures are conserved across species. The results of numerous studies reviewed in this work now confirm that they are the first recognized eicosanoid chemical mediators that display both potent anti-inflammatory and pro-resolving actions in vivo in disease models that include rabbit, rat, and mouse systems. LXs act at specific GPCRs as agonists to regulate cellular responses of interest in inflammation and resolution. Aspirin has a direct impact in the LX circuit by triggering the biosynthesis of endogenous epimers of LX, termed the aspirin-triggered 15-epi-LX, that share the potent anti-inflammatory actions of LX. Stable analogs of LXA4, LXB4, and aspirin-triggered lipoxin were prepared, and several of these display potent actions in vitro and in vivo. The results reviewed herein implicate a role of LX and their analogs in many common human diseases including airway inflammation, asthma, arthritis, cardiovascular disorders, gastrointestinal disease, periodontal disease, kidney diseases and graft-vs.-host disease, as well as others where uncontrolled inflammation plays a key role in disease pathogenesis. Hence, the LX pathways and mechanisms reviewed to date in this work provide a basis for new approaches to treatment of many common human diseases that involve inflammation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / pharmacology*
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / therapeutic use
  • Aspirin / pharmacology*
  • Aspirin / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / drug therapy
  • Inflammation / physiopathology*
  • Lipoxins / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Lipoxins / biosynthesis
  • Lipoxins / physiology*
  • Lipoxins / therapeutic use
  • Signal Transduction


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
  • Lipoxins
  • lipoxin A4
  • lipoxin B4
  • Aspirin