Leukotriene B4

Int J Biochem Cell Biol. 1998 Feb;30(2):173-8. doi: 10.1016/s1357-2725(97)00123-4.


Leukotriene B4 is a pro-inflammatory mediator synthesised in myeloid cells from arachidonic acid. Synthesis is catalysed by 5-lipoxygenase and leukotriene A4 hydrolase and is increased by inflammatory mediators including endotoxin, complement fragments, tumor necrosis factor and interleukins. A nuclear membrane protein, 5-lipoxygenase activating protein, is an essential co-factor for 5-lipoxygenase. Leukotriene B4 induces recruitment and activation of neutrophils, monocytes and eosinophils. It also stimulates the production of a number of proinflammatory cytokines and mediators indicating an ability to augment and prolong tissue inflammation. Elevated levels of leukotriene B4 have been found in a number of inflammatory diseases and levels are related to disease activity in some of these. Initial data from pharmacological inhibition studies support a role for leukotriene B4 in the pathogenesis of neutrophil mediated tissue damage, and treatments which reduce its production or block its effects may prove beneficial in neutrophil mediated inflammatory diseases.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Arachidonate 5-Lipoxygenase / immunology
  • Cytokines / biosynthesis
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / etiology*
  • Inflammation / immunology
  • Inflammation / metabolism
  • Inflammation Mediators / immunology
  • Inflammation Mediators / physiology*
  • Leukotriene B4 / immunology
  • Leukotriene B4 / physiology*
  • Lipoxygenase Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Neutrophil Activation
  • Neutrophils / immunology
  • Neutrophils / physiology*
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / drug effects
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / immunology
  • Shock, Septic / immunology
  • Shock, Septic / therapy


  • Cytokines
  • Inflammation Mediators
  • Lipoxygenase Inhibitors
  • Receptors, Cell Surface
  • Leukotriene B4
  • Arachidonate 5-Lipoxygenase