Maresin 1 attenuates neuroinflammation in a mouse model of perioperative neurocognitive disorders

Br J Anaesth. 2019 Mar;122(3):350-360. doi: 10.1016/j.bja.2018.10.062. Epub 2018 Dec 28.


Background: Resolution of inflammation is an active and dynamic process after surgery. Maresin 1 (MaR1) is one of a growing number of specialised pro-resolving lipids biosynthesised by macrophages that regulates acute inflammation. We investigated the effects of MaR1 on postoperative neuroinflammation, macrophage activity, and cognitive function in mice.

Methods: Adult male C57BL/6 (n=111) and Ccr2RFP/+Cx3cr1GFP/+ (n=54) mice were treated with MaR1 before undergoing anaesthesia and orthopaedic surgery. Systemic inflammatory changes, bone healing, neuroinflammation, and cognition were assessed at different time points. MaR1 protective effects were also evaluated using bone marrow derived macrophage cultures.

Results: MaR1 exerted potent systemic anti-inflammatory effects without impairing fracture healing. Prophylaxis with MaR1 prevented surgery-induced glial activation and opening of the blood-brain barrier. In Ccr2RFP/+Cx3cr1GFP/+ mice, fewer infiltrating macrophages were detected in the hippocampus after surgery with MaR1 prophylaxis, which resulted in improved memory function. MaR1 treatment also reduced expression of pro-inflammatory cell surface markers and cytokines by in vitro cultured macrophages. MaR1 was detectable in the cerebrospinal fluid of older adults before and after surgery.

Conclusions: MaR1 exerts distinct anti-inflammatory and pro-resolving effects through regulation of macrophage infiltration, NF-κB signalling, and cytokine release after surgery. Future studies on the use of pro-resolving lipid mediators may inform novel approaches to treat neuroinflammation and postoperative neurocognitive disorders.

Keywords: glia; macrophages; neurocognitive disorders; neuroinflammation; omega 3 fatty acids; postoperative complications; pro-resolving lipid mediators.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Animals
  • Brain Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Docosahexaenoic Acids / pharmacology*
  • Female
  • Fractures, Bone / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / prevention & control*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Middle Aged
  • Neurocognitive Disorders / prevention & control*
  • Perioperative Period


  • 7,14-dihydroxydocosa-4,8,10,12,16,19-hexaenoic acid
  • Docosahexaenoic Acids