Studies in the last decade have established the roles of oxidized phospholipids as modulators of various cellular processes, from inflammation and immunity to cell death. Oxidized lysophospholipids, formed through the activity of phospholipases and oxidative enzymes and lacking an acyl chain in comparison with parent phospholipids, are now emerging as novel bioactive lipid mediators. Their detection and structural characterization have been limited in the past due to low amounts and the complexity of their biosynthetic and removal pathways, but recent studies have unequivocally demonstrated their formation under inflammatory conditions. The involvement of oxidized lysophospholipids in immune regulation classifies them as damage-associated molecular patterns (DAMPs), which can promote sterile inflammation and contribute to autoimmune and chronic diseases as well as aging-related diseases. Their signaling pathways are just beginning to be revealed. As the first publications indicate that oxidized lysophospholipids use the same receptors as pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs), it is likely that the inhibition of signaling pathways activated by oxidized lysophospholipids would affect innate immunity per se. On the other hand, inhibition or modulation of their enzymatic formation, which would not interfere with the response to pathogens, might be beneficial and is potentially a promising new field of research.
Keywords: Damage-associated molecular patterns; Extracellular vesicles; Lipid peroxidation; Oxidized lysophospholipids; Phospholipases.
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