Bioactive lipids, inflammation and chronic diseases

Adv Drug Deliv Rev. 2020:159:133-169. doi: 10.1016/j.addr.2020.06.028. Epub 2020 Jul 3.


Endogenous bioactive lipids are part of a complex network that modulates a plethora of cellular and molecular processes involved in health and disease, of which inflammation represents one of the most prominent examples. Inflammation serves as a well-conserved defence mechanism, triggered in the event of chemical, mechanical or microbial damage, that is meant to eradicate the source of damage and restore tissue function. However, excessive inflammatory signals, or impairment of pro-resolving/anti-inflammatory pathways leads to chronic inflammation, which is a hallmark of chronic pathologies. All main classes of endogenous bioactive lipids - namely eicosanoids, specialized pro-resolving lipid mediators, lysoglycerophopsholipids and endocannabinoids - have been consistently involved in the chronic inflammation that characterises pathologies such as cancer, diabetes, atherosclerosis, asthma, as well as autoimmune and neurodegenerative disorders and inflammatory bowel diseases. This review gathers the current knowledge concerning the involvement of endogenous bioactive lipids in the pathogenic processes of chronic inflammatory pathologies.

Keywords: Chronic inflammation; Eicosanoids; Endocannabinoids; Endogenous bioactive lipids; Lysoglycerophospholipids; Lysosphingolipids; Resolution of inflammation; Specialized pro-resolving mediators.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chronic Disease
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / metabolism*
  • Inflammation / therapy
  • Lipid Metabolism*
  • Lipids


  • Lipids