Lipoxins and novel aspirin-triggered 15-epi-lipoxins (ATL): a jungle of cell-cell interactions or a therapeutic opportunity?

Prostaglandins. 1997 Feb;53(2):107-37. doi: 10.1016/s0090-6980(97)00001-4.


Lipid-derived mediators play critical roles in inflammation and other multicellular vascular processes, including atherosclerosis and thrombosis. The lipoxins (LXs) were first isolated in 1984, and have continued to show intriguing and potentially important biological roles. These compounds carry a trihydroxytetraene structure and are both structurally and functionally unique among arachidonic acid-derived bioactive products. The availability of synthetic materials for evaluation of bioactions as well as appropriate methods of detection to determine when and where LX are generated has, in recent studies, catapulted our understanding of the formation and actions of the lipoxins. This mini-review addresses new concepts in the formation and biological roles of these lipid-derived mediators and considers whether the lipoxins and the newly discovered aspirin-triggered lipoxins (ATL) represent novel approaches for therapeutic opportunities. Recent findings indicate that select cytokines and aspirin initiate and regulate LX biosynthetic events. These circuits involve cell-cell interfacing that facilitates transcellular events to form LX that display anti-inflammatory actions in both in vitro and in vivo models. These recent results suggest that LX biosynthetic circuits assemble to evoke anti-inflammatory actions and generate LX that can serve as "stop signals" in appropriate microenvironments.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / metabolism
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / pharmacology*
  • Arachidonate 5-Lipoxygenase / metabolism
  • Arachidonic Acids / metabolism
  • Arachidonic Acids / pharmacology*
  • Aspirin / pharmacology*
  • Cell Communication*
  • Hydroxyeicosatetraenoic Acids / metabolism*
  • Leukotriene A4 / metabolism
  • Lipoxins*
  • Models, Biological
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / metabolism
  • Receptors, Formyl Peptide*
  • Receptors, Lipoxin*


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
  • Arachidonic Acids
  • FPR2 protein, human
  • Hydroxyeicosatetraenoic Acids
  • Leukotriene A4
  • Lipoxins
  • Receptors, Cell Surface
  • Receptors, Formyl Peptide
  • Receptors, Lipoxin
  • lipoxin A4
  • Arachidonate 5-Lipoxygenase
  • Aspirin