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      Maresins: novel macrophage mediators with potent antiinflammatory and proresolving actions

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          The endogenous cellular and molecular mechanisms that control acute inflammation and its resolution are of wide interest. Using self-resolving inflammatory exudates and lipidomics, we have identified a new pathway involving biosynthesis of potent antiinflammatory and proresolving mediators from the essential fatty acid docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) by macrophages (MΦs). During the resolution of mouse peritonitis, exudates accumulated both 17-hydroxydocosahexaenoic acid, a known marker of 17 S-D series resolvin (Rv) and protectin biosynthesis, and 14 S-hydroxydocosa-4 Z,7 Z,10 Z,12 E,16 Z,19 Z-hexaenoic acid from endogenous DHA. Addition of either DHA or 14 S-hydroperoxydocosa-4 Z,7 Z,10 Z,12 E,16 Z,19 Z-hexaenoic acid to activated MΦs converted these substrates to novel dihydroxy-containing products that possessed potent antiinflammatory and proresolving activity with a potency similar to resolvin E1, 5 S,12 R,18 R-trihydroxyeicosa-6 Z,8 E,10 E,14 Z,16 E-pentaenoic acid, and protectin D1, 10 R,17 S-dihydroxydocosa-4 Z,7 Z,11 E,13 E,15 Z,19 Z-hexaenoic acid. Stable isotope incorporation, intermediate trapping, and characterization of physical and biological properties of the products demonstrated a novel 14-lipoxygenase pathway, generating bioactive 7,14-dihydroxydocosa-4 Z,8,10,12,16 Z,19 Z-hexaenoic acid, coined MΦ mediator in resolving inflammation (maresin), which enhances resolution. These findings suggest that maresins and this new metabolome may be involved in some of the beneficial actions of DHA and MΦs in tissue homeostasis, inflammation resolution, wound healing, and host defense.

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          Points of control in inflammation.

           Carl Nathan (2015)
          Inflammation is a complex set of interactions among soluble factors and cells that can arise in any tissue in response to traumatic, infectious, post-ischaemic, toxic or autoimmune injury. The process normally leads to recovery from infection and to healing, However, if targeted destruction and assisted repair are not properly phased, inflammation can lead to persistent tissue damage by leukocytes, lymphocytes or collagen. Inflammation may be considered in terms of its checkpoints, where binary or higher-order signals drive each commitment to escalate, go signals trigger stop signals, and molecules responsible for mediating the inflammatory response also suppress it, depending on timing and context. The non-inflammatory state does not arise passively from an absence of inflammatory stimuli; rather, maintenance of health requires the positive actions of specific gene products to suppress reactions to potentially inflammatory stimuli that do not warrant a full response.
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            Novel Functional Sets of Lipid-Derived Mediators with Antiinflammatory Actions Generated from Omega-3 Fatty Acids via Cyclooxygenase 2–Nonsteroidal Antiinflammatory Drugs and Transcellular Processing

            Aspirin therapy inhibits prostaglandin biosynthesis without directly acting on lipoxygenases, yet via acetylation of cyclooxygenase 2 (COX-2) it leads to bioactive lipoxins (LXs) epimeric at carbon 15 (15-epi-LX, also termed aspirin-triggered LX [ATL]). Here, we report that inflammatory exudates from mice treated with ω-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid and aspirin (ASA) generate a novel array of bioactive lipid signals. Human endothelial cells with upregulated COX-2 treated with ASA converted C20:5 ω-3 to 18R-hydroxyeicosapentaenoic acid (HEPE) and 15R-HEPE. Each was used by polymorphonuclear leukocytes to generate separate classes of novel trihydroxy-containing mediators, including 5-series 15R-LX5 and 5,12,18R-triHEPE. These new compounds proved to be potent inhibitors of human polymorphonuclear leukocyte transendothelial migration and infiltration in vivo (ATL analogue > 5,12,18R-triHEPE > 18R-HEPE). Acetaminophen and indomethacin also permitted 18R-HEPE and 15R-HEPE generation with recombinant COX-2 as well as ω-5 and ω-9 oxygenations of other fatty acids that act on hematologic cells. These findings establish new transcellular routes for producing arrays of bioactive lipid mediators via COX-2–nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drug–dependent oxygenations and cell–cell interactions that impact microinflammation. The generation of these and related compounds provides a novel mechanism(s) for the therapeutic benefits of ω-3 dietary supplementation, which may be important in inflammation, neoplasia, and vascular diseases.
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              Inflammatory resolution: new opportunities for drug discovery.


                Author and article information

                J Exp Med
                The Journal of Experimental Medicine
                The Rockefeller University Press
                19 January 2009
                : 206
                : 1
                : 15-23
                Center for Experimental Therapeutics and Reperfusion Injury, Department of Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115
                Author notes

                CORRESPONDENCE Charles N. Serhan: cnserhan@

                © 2009 Serhan et al.

                This article is distributed under the terms of an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike–No Mirror Sites license for the first six months after the publication date (see After six months it is available under a Creative Commons License (Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 3.0 Unported license, as described at

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