Lipid mediators as agonists for the resolution of acute lung inflammation and injury

Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol. 2007 Feb;36(2):201-5. doi: 10.1165/rcmb.2006-0269TR. Epub 2006 Sep 21.


Resolution of acute lung inflammation and injury is an active process; it is not merely the absence of proinflammatory signals. Restoration of homeostasis is coordinated by specific mediators and cellular events. In response to injury and inflammatory stimuli, infiltrating leukocytes and tissue-resident cells interact to generate lipoxins (LXs), which are bioactive eicosanoids derived from arachidonic acid. In contrast to proinflammatory leukotrienes and prostaglandins, LXs display potent antiinflammatory actions. LXA(4) interacts with a G protein-coupled receptor, termed ALX, that transduces counter-regulatory signals in part via intracellular polyisoprenyl phosphate remodeling. Presqualene diphosphate (PSDP) is a polyisoprenyl phosphate in human neutrophils that is rapidly converted to presqualene monophosphate (PSMP) upon cell activation. PSDP, but not PSMP, directly inhibits phospholipase D, phosphoinositol-3 kinase, and superoxide anion generation. LXs block PSDP turnover in neutrophil membranes to prevent proinflammatory responses. Hence, LX and polyisoprenyl phosphate signaling provide a counter-regulatory circuit to promote resolution of acute lung inflammation. LXA(4) and PSDP mimetics have been prepared with potent protective actions in murine models of asthma and acute lung injury.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Leukocytes, Mononuclear / drug effects
  • Leukocytes, Mononuclear / immunology
  • Lipoxins / pharmacology*
  • Pneumonia / pathology*
  • Pneumonia / therapy*
  • Polyisoprenyl Phosphates / chemistry
  • Receptors, Lipoxin / immunology
  • Respiratory Distress Syndrome / pathology*
  • Respiratory Distress Syndrome / therapy*


  • Lipoxins
  • Polyisoprenyl Phosphates
  • Receptors, Lipoxin