The 12/15-lipoxygenase enzymes react with fatty acids producing active lipid metabolites that are involved in a number of significant disease states. The latter include type 1 and type 2 diabetes (and associated complications), cardiovascular disease, hypertension, renal disease, and the neurological conditions Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease. A number of elegant studies over the last thirty years have contributed to unraveling the role that lipoxygenases play in chronic inflammation. The development of animal models with targeted gene deletions has led to a better understanding of the role that lipoxygenases play in various conditions. Selective inhibitors of the different lipoxygenase isoforms are an active area of investigation, and will be both an important research tool and a promising therapeutic target for treating a wide spectrum of human diseases.
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