The resolution of acute inflammation: A ‘tipping point’ in the development of chronic inflammatory diseases

  • Derek Gilroy
  • Toby Lawrence
Part of the Progress in Inflammation Research book series (PIR)


Evolution has given us inflammation, a formidable ally in the constant battle against infection, cancer and tissue injury. It is a primordial response that protects against injury and restores damaged tissue to its normal physiological function. In fact, our well-being and survival depends upon its efficiency and carefully balanced control. In general, the innate inflammatory response initiates within minutes and, if all is well, resolves within hours. In contrast, chronic inflammation persists for weeks, months or even years. Here, we are going to discuss the key endogenous checkpoints necessary for mounting an effective, yet limited, inflammatory response and the crucial biochemical pathways necessary to prevent its persistence. Figure 1 depicts what we understand today about the endogenous soluble mediators that control the severity of inflammatory onset as well as its longevity. In doing so, we wish to underline the consequence to the host of failing to adequately control inflammatory resolution.


Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Acute Inflammation Chronic Granulomatous Disease Phagocytic Clearance Leukocyte Apoptosis 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag Basel/Switzerland 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Derek Gilroy
    • 1
  • Toby Lawrence
    • 2
  1. 1.Rayne Institute, Centre for Clinical PharmacologyUniversity College LondonLondonUK
  2. 2.Institute of Cancer, Centre for Translational OncologyBart’s and The London School of Medicine and DentistryLondonUK

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