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BioMed Research International
Volume 2013, Article ID 743171, 13 pages
Review Article

Experimental Evidence of -3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid Modulation of Inflammatory Cytokines and Bioactive Lipid Mediators: Their Potential Role in Inflammatory, Neurodegenerative, and Neoplastic Diseases

1Institute of General Pathology, School of Medicine, Catholic University, 00168 Rome, Italy
2Department of Physiology, National Taiwan University College of Medicine, Taipei 100, Taiwan
3Department of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Endocrinology and Experimental and Clinical Research Center (ECRC), Charité University Medicine, 13353 Berlin, Germany

Received 1 February 2013; Revised 27 March 2013; Accepted 27 March 2013

Academic Editor: D. M. Clarke

Copyright © 2013 Gabriella Calviello et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


A large body of evidence has emerged over the past years to show the critical role played by inflammation in the pathogenesis of several diseases including some cardiovascular, neoplastic, and neurodegenerative diseases, previously not considered inflammation-related. The anti-inflammatory action of -3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), as well as their potential healthy effects against the development and progression of the same diseases, has been widely studied by our and others’ laboratories. As a result, a rethinking is taking place on the possible mechanisms underlying the beneficial effects of -3 PUFAs against these disorders, and, in particular, on the influence that they may exert on the molecular pathways involved in inflammatory process, including the production of inflammatory cytokines and lipid mediators active in the resolving phase of inflammation. In the present review we will summarize and discuss the current knowledge regarding the modulating effects of -3 PUFAs on the production of inflammatory cytokines and proresolving or protective lipid mediators in the context of inflammatory, metabolic, neurodegenerative, and neoplastic diseases.