Resolvins: natural agonists for resolution of pulmonary inflammation

Prog Lipid Res. 2011 Jan;50(1):75-88. doi: 10.1016/j.plipres.2010.09.002. Epub 2010 Sep 29.


Inappropriate or excessive pulmonary inflammation can contribute to chronic lung diseases. In health, the resolution of inflammation is an active process that terminates inflammatory responses. The recent identification of endogenous lipid-derived mediators of resolution has provided a window to explore the pathobiology of inflammatory disease and structural templates for the design of novel pro-resolving therapeutics. Resolvins (resolution-phase interaction products) are a family of pro-resolving mediators that are enzymatically generated from essential omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids. Two molecular series of resolvins have been characterised, namely E- and D-series resolvins which possess distinct structural, biochemical and pharmacological properties. Acting as agonists at specific receptors (CMKLR1, BLT1, ALX/FPR2 and GPR32), resolvins can signal for potent counter-regulatory effects on leukocyte functions, including preventing uncontrolled neutrophil swarming, decreasing the generation of cytokines, chemokines and reactive oxygen species and promoting clearance of apoptotic neutrophils from inflamed tissues. Hence, resolvins provide mechanisms for cytoprotection of host tissues to the potentially detrimental effects of unresolved inflammation. This review highlights recent experimental findings in resolvin research, and the impact of these stereospecific molecules on the resolution of pulmonary inflammation and tissue catabasis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3 / chemistry
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3 / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Intracellular Space / metabolism
  • Pneumonia / drug therapy
  • Pneumonia / metabolism*
  • Pneumonia / pathology
  • Signal Transduction


  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3