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Volume 10, Pages 818-831
Review Article

Resolvins as Regulators of the Immune System

1Department of Health Chemistry, Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Tokyo, Japan
2Department of Anesthesiology, Keio University School of Medicine, Tokyo, Japan
3PRESTO Japan Science and Technology Agency, Saitama, Japan

Received 22 December 2009; Revised 27 March 2010; Accepted 30 March 2010

Academic Editor: Joan Clària

Copyright © 2010 Hiroyuki Seki et al.


Inflammation is the first response of the immune system to infection or injury, but excessive or inappropriate inflammatory responses contribute to a range of acute and chronic human diseases. Clinical assessment of dietary supplementation of ω-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (i.e., eicosapentaenoic acid [EPA] and docosahexaenoic acid [DHA]) indicate that they have beneficial impact on these diseases, although the mechanisms are poorly understood at the molecular level. In this decade, it has been revealed that EPA and DHA are enzymatically converted to bioactive metabolites in the course of acute inflammation and resolution. These metabolites were shown to regulate immune cell functions and to display potent anti-inflammatory actions both in vitro and in vivo. Because of their ability to resolve an acute inflammatory response, they are referred to as proresolving mediators, or resolvins. In this review, we provide an overview of the formation and actions of these lipid mediators.