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BioMed Research International
Volume 2015, Article ID 690692, 6 pages
Review Article

Factors Influencing the Eicosanoids Synthesis In Vivo

1Department of Propaedeutic Oncology, Faculty of Health Sciences, Medical University of Gdańsk, Powstania Styczniowego 9b, 81-519 Gdynia, Poland
2Department of Surgical Oncology, Gdynia Oncology Center, PCK’s Maritime Hospital in Gdynia, Powstania Styczniowego 1, 81-519 Gdynia, Poland

Received 19 November 2014; Accepted 24 February 2015

Academic Editor: Beverly Muhlhausler

Copyright © 2015 Jarosław Szefel 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.


External factors activate a sequence of reactions involving the reception, transduction, and transmission of signals to effector cells. There are two main phases of the body’s reaction to harmful factors: the first aims to neutralize the harmful factor, while in the second the inflammatory process is reduced in size and resolved. Secondary messengers such as eicosanoids are active in both phases. The discovery of lipoxins and epi-lipoxins demonstrated that not all arachidonic acid (AA) derivatives have proinflammatory activity. It was also revealed that metabolites of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) such as resolvins, protectins, and maresins also take part in the resolution of inflammation. Knowledge of the above properties has stimulated several clinical trials on the influence of EPA and DHA supplementation on various diseases. However, the equivocal results of those trials prevent the formulation of guidelines on EPA and DHA supplementation. Prescription drugs are among the substances with the strongest influence on the profile and quantity of the synthesized eicosanoids. The lack of knowledge about their influence on the conversion of EPA and DHA into eicosanoids may lead to erroneous conclusions from clinical trials.