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      Bioactive Lipids and Chronic Inflammation: Managing the Fire Within

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          Inflammation is an immune response that works as a contained fire that is pre-emptively sparked as a defensive process during infections or upon any kind of tissue insult, and that is spontaneously extinguished after elimination or termination of the damage. However, persistent and uncontrolled immune reactions act as a wildfire that promote chronic inflammation, unresolved tissue damage and, eventually, chronic diseases. A wide network of soluble mediators, among which endogenous bioactive lipids, governs all immune processes. They are secreted by basically all cells involved in inflammatory processes and constitute the crucial infrastructure that triggers, coordinates and confines inflammatory mechanisms. However, these molecules are also deeply involved in the detrimental transition from acute to chronic inflammation, be it for persistent or excessive action of pro-inflammatory lipids or for the impairment of the functions carried out by resolving ones. As a matter of fact, bioactive lipids have been linked, to date, to several chronic diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis, atherosclerosis, diabetes, cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, systemic lupus erythematosus, and multiple sclerosis. This review summarizes current knowledge on the involvement of the main classes of endogenous bioactive lipids—namely classical eicosanoids, pro-resolving lipid mediators, lysoglycerophospholipids/sphingolipids, and endocannabinoids—in the cellular and molecular mechanisms that lead to the pathogenesis of chronic disorders.

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          Most cited references 140

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          Genetic risk and a primary role for cell-mediated immune mechanisms in multiple sclerosis

          Multiple sclerosis (OMIM 126200) is a common disease of the central nervous system in which the interplay between inflammatory and neurodegenerative processes typically results in intermittent neurological disturbance followed by progressive accumulation of disability. 1 Epidemiological studies have shown that genetic factors are primarily responsible for the substantially increased frequency of the disease seen in the relatives of affected individuals; 2,3 and systematic attempts to identify linkage in multiplex families have confirmed that variation within the Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC) exerts the greatest individual effect on risk. 4 Modestly powered Genome-Wide Association Studies (GWAS) 5-10 have enabled more than 20 additional risk loci to be identified and have shown that multiple variants exerting modest individual effects play a key role in disease susceptibility. 11 Most of the genetic architecture underlying susceptibility to the disease remains to be defined and is anticipated to require the analysis of sample sizes that are beyond the numbers currently available to individual research groups. In a collaborative GWAS involving 9772 cases of European descent collected by 23 research groups working in 15 different countries, we have replicated almost all of the previously suggested associations and identified at least a further 29 novel susceptibility loci. Within the MHC we have refined the identity of the DRB1 risk alleles and confirmed that variation in the HLA-A gene underlies the independent protective effect attributable to the Class I region. Immunologically relevant genes are significantly over-represented amongst those mapping close to the identified loci and particularly implicate T helper cell differentiation in the pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis.
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            Principles of bioactive lipid signalling: lessons from sphingolipids.

            It has become increasingly difficult to find an area of cell biology in which lipids do not have important, if not key, roles as signalling and regulatory molecules. The rapidly expanding field of bioactive lipids is exemplified by many sphingolipids, such as ceramide, sphingosine, sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P), ceramide-1-phosphate and lyso-sphingomyelin, which have roles in the regulation of cell growth, death, senescence, adhesion, migration, inflammation, angiogenesis and intracellular trafficking. Deciphering the mechanisms of these varied cell functions necessitates an understanding of the complex pathways of sphingolipid metabolism and the mechanisms that regulate lipid generation and lipid action.
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              Prostaglandins and inflammation.

              Prostaglandins are lipid autacoids derived from arachidonic acid. They both sustain homeostatic functions and mediate pathogenic mechanisms, including the inflammatory response. They are generated from arachidonate by the action of cyclooxygenase isoenzymes, and their biosynthesis is blocked by nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs, including those selective for inhibition of cyclooxygenase-2. Despite the clinical efficacy of nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs, prostaglandins may function in both the promotion and resolution of inflammation. This review summarizes insights into the mechanisms of prostaglandin generation and the roles of individual mediators and their receptors in modulating the inflammatory response. Prostaglandin biology has potential clinical relevance for atherosclerosis, the response to vascular injury and aortic aneurysm.

                Author and article information

                URI :
                URI :
                Front Immunol
                Front Immunol
                Front. Immunol.
                Frontiers in Immunology
                Frontiers Media S.A.
                29 January 2018
                : 9
                1Department of Medicine, Campus Bio-Medico University of Rome , Rome, Italy
                2European Center for Brain Research (CERC), Santa Lucia Foundation (IRCCS) , Rome, Italy
                Author notes

                Edited by: Claudia Monaco, University of Oxford, United Kingdom

                Reviewed by: Yongsheng Li, Third Military Medical University, China; Hugo Caire Castro-Faria-Neto, Fundação Oswaldo Cruz (Fiocruz), Brazil

                *Correspondence: Valerio Chiurchiù, v.chiurchiu@ ; Mauro Maccarrone, m.maccarrone@

                These authors have contributed equally to this work.

                Specialty section: This article was submitted to Inflammation, a section of the journal Frontiers in Immunology

                Copyright © 2018 Chiurchiù, Leuti and Maccarrone.

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

                Page count
                Figures: 1, Tables: 1, Equations: 0, References: 140, Pages: 11, Words: 9407
                Funded by: Fondazione Italiana Sclerosi Multipla 10.13039/100007366
                Award ID: 2015/R/08


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