Resolvins and protectins in the termination program of acute inflammation

Trends Immunol. 2007 Apr;28(4):176-83. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2007 Mar 6.


The physiological resolution of a well-orchestrated inflammatory response is essential to maintain homeostasis. Therefore, gaining a comprehensive understanding in molecular terms of the events that direct the termination of acute inflammation is imperative. Recently, new families of local-acting mediators were discovered that are biosynthesized from the essential fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid. These new chemical mediators are endogenously generated in inflammatory exudates collected during the resolution phase, and were termed resolvins and protectins because specific members of these families control the magnitude and duration of inflammation in animals. In addition, recent results indicate novel actions of resolvins and protectins in removing chemokines ferried from the tissue by apoptotic neutrophils and T cells during resolution. Here, we review recent advances on the biosynthesis and actions of these novel anti-inflammatory and proresolving mediators.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Animals
  • Docosahexaenoic Acids / chemistry*
  • Docosahexaenoic Acids / metabolism*
  • Eicosapentaenoic Acid / analogs & derivatives*
  • Eicosapentaenoic Acid / chemistry
  • Eicosapentaenoic Acid / physiology
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / immunology*
  • Inflammation / metabolism
  • Inflammation / pathology
  • Inflammation / prevention & control*
  • Inflammation Mediators / chemistry
  • Inflammation Mediators / physiology*
  • Multigene Family*


  • Inflammation Mediators
  • protectin D1
  • resolvin D1
  • Docosahexaenoic Acids
  • Eicosapentaenoic Acid
  • 5S,12R,18R-trihydroxy-6Z,8E,10E,14Z,16E-eicosapentaenoic acid