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Mediators of Inflammation
Volume 2012, Article ID 236345, 13 pages
Review Article

Eicosanoids and Respiratory Viral Infection: Coordinators of Inflammation and Potential Therapeutic Targets

1Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA
2Department of Pediatrics and Communicable Diseases, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA

Received 10 November 2011; Accepted 12 March 2012

Academic Editor: Lúcia Helena Faccioli

Copyright © 2012 Mary K. McCarthy and Jason B. Weinberg. 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.


Viruses are frequent causes of respiratory infection, and viral respiratory infections are significant causes of hospitalization, morbidity, and sometimes mortality in a variety of patient populations. Lung inflammation induced by infection with common respiratory pathogens such as influenza and respiratory syncytial virus is accompanied by increased lung production of prostaglandins and leukotrienes, lipid mediators with a wide range of effects on host immune function. Deficiency or pharmacologic inhibition of prostaglandin and leukotriene production often results in a dampened inflammatory response to acute infection with a respiratory virus. These mediators may, therefore, serve as appealing therapeutic targets for disease caused by respiratory viral infection.