Generation and biological activities of oxidized phospholipids

Antioxid Redox Signal. 2010 Apr 15;12(8):1009-59. doi: 10.1089/ars.2009.2597.


Glycerophospholipids represent a common class of lipids critically important for integrity of cellular membranes. Oxidation of esterified unsaturated fatty acids dramatically changes biological activities of phospholipids. Apart from impairment of their structural function, oxidation makes oxidized phospholipids (OxPLs) markers of "modified-self" type that are recognized by soluble and cell-associated receptors of innate immunity, including scavenger receptors, natural (germ line-encoded) antibodies, and C-reactive protein, thus directing removal of senescent and apoptotic cells or oxidized lipoproteins. In addition, OxPLs acquire novel biological activities not characteristic of their unoxidized precursors, including the ability to regulate innate and adaptive immune responses. Effects of OxPLs described in vitro and in vivo suggest their potential relevance in different pathologies, including atherosclerosis, acute inflammation, lung injury, and many other conditions. This review summarizes current knowledge on the mechanisms of formation, structures, and biological activities of OxPLs. Furthermore, potential applications of OxPLs as disease biomarkers, as well as experimental therapies targeting OxPLs, are described, providing a broad overview of an emerging class of lipid mediators.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biomarkers / metabolism
  • Blood Coagulation / physiology
  • Cytoskeleton / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Immune System Phenomena / physiology
  • Lipid Peroxidation
  • Lung / metabolism
  • Lung / pathology
  • Molecular Structure
  • Oxidation-Reduction*
  • Oxidative Stress
  • Phospholipids* / chemistry
  • Phospholipids* / physiology
  • Platelet Activation / physiology
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt / metabolism
  • Receptors, Scavenger / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction / physiology
  • cdc42 GTP-Binding Protein / metabolism


  • Biomarkers
  • Phospholipids
  • Receptors, Scavenger
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt
  • cdc42 GTP-Binding Protein