Specialized pro-resolving mediators: endogenous regulators of infection and inflammation

Nat Rev Immunol. 2016 Jan;16(1):51-67. doi: 10.1038/nri.2015.4. Epub 2015 Dec 21.


Specialized pro-resolving mediators (SPMs) are enzymatically derived from essential fatty acids and have important roles in orchestrating the resolution of tissue inflammation - that is, catabasis. Host responses to tissue infection elicit acute inflammation in an attempt to control invading pathogens. SPMs are lipid mediators that are part of a larger family of pro-resolving molecules, which includes proteins and gases, that together restrain inflammation and resolve the infection. These immunoresolvents are distinct from immunosuppressive molecules as they not only dampen inflammation but also promote host defence. Here, we focus primarily on SPMs and their roles in lung infection and inflammation to illustrate the potent actions these mediators play in restoring tissue homeostasis after an infection.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Bacterial Infections / immunology
  • Bacterial Infections / microbiology
  • Host-Pathogen Interactions / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / immunology*
  • Inflammation Mediators / metabolism*
  • Parasitic Diseases / immunology
  • Parasitic Diseases / parasitology
  • Virus Diseases / immunology
  • Virus Diseases / virology


  • Inflammation Mediators