Eicosanoids and respiratory viral infection: coordinators of inflammation and potential therapeutic targets

Mediators Inflamm. 2012;2012:236345. doi: 10.1155/2012/236345. Epub 2012 May 15.


Viruses are frequent causes of respiratory infection, and viral respiratory infections are significant causes of hospitalization, morbidity, and sometimes mortality in a variety of patient populations. Lung inflammation induced by infection with common respiratory pathogens such as influenza and respiratory syncytial virus is accompanied by increased lung production of prostaglandins and leukotrienes, lipid mediators with a wide range of effects on host immune function. Deficiency or pharmacologic inhibition of prostaglandin and leukotriene production often results in a dampened inflammatory response to acute infection with a respiratory virus. These mediators may, therefore, serve as appealing therapeutic targets for disease caused by respiratory viral infection.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antiviral Agents / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Leukotrienes / metabolism
  • Prostaglandins / metabolism
  • Respiratory Tract Infections / drug therapy
  • Respiratory Tract Infections / immunology*
  • Respiratory Tract Infections / metabolism
  • Respiratory Tract Infections / virology*


  • Antiviral Agents
  • Leukotrienes
  • Prostaglandins