Novel lipid mediators in resolution and their aspirin triggered epimers: Lipoxins, resolvins, and protectins

  • Charles N. Serhan
Part of the Progress in Inflammation Research book series (PIR)


In The Doctor’s Dilemma (1906) by the popular writer George Bernard Shaw, the character Sir Bloomfield Bonnington stated:

Drugs can only repress symptoms: they cannot eradicate disease. The true remedy for all diseases is Nature’s remedy. Nature and Science are at one, Sir Patrick, believe me; though you were taught differently. Nature has provided, in the white corpuscles as you call them — in the phagocytes as we call them — a natural means of devouring and destroying all disease germs. There is at bottom only one genuinely scientific treatment for all diseases, and that is to stimulate the phagocytes. Stimulate the phagocytes. In view of our current appreciation of resolution of inflammation, reviewed in this chapter, these lines from The Doctor’s Dilemma take on new meaning, namely, resolution as an active biochemical and cellular process in controlled molecular terms by specialised mediators that function in resolution and can give rise to new approaches to therapeutics. Efforts taken in the author’s laboratory focus on gaining a molecular understanding of the natural means by which the body controls phagocytes, both positive and negative physiological signals. In this context, the eicosanoids generated from arachidonic acid are mediators of special interest, given their prominent and well-appreciated role(s) as pro-inflammatory mediators [1]. Our interest in endogenous control mechanisms in inflammation led us to recognise the lipoxins (LXs) as the first local mediators possessing both anti-inflammatory and pro-resolving actions (recently reviewed in [2]).


Lipid Mediator Apoptotic Neutrophil Prostaglandin Leukot Essent Fatty Acid Epimeric Form Series Resolvins 
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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© Birkhäuser Verlag Basel/Switzerland 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Charles N. Serhan
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for Experimental Therapeutics and Reperfusion Injury, Department of Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Department of Oral Medicine, Infection, and ImmunityHarvard School of Dental Medicine and Harvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA

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