Controlled resolution or the physiologic resolution of a well-orchestrated inflammatory response at the tissue level is essential to return to homeostasis. A comprehensive understanding of the cellular and molecular events that control the termination of acute inflammation is needed in molecular terms given the widely held view that aberrant inflammation underlies many common diseases. This review focuses on recent advances in the understanding of the role of arachidonic acid and ω-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA)-derived lipid mediators in regulating the resolution of inflammation. Using a functional lipidomic approach employing LC-MS-MS-based informatics, recent studies, reviewed herein, uncovered new families of local-acting chemical mediators actively biosynthesized during the resolution phase from the essential fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). These new families of local chemical mediators are generated endogenously in exudates collected during the resolution phase, and were coined resolvins and protectins because specific members of these novel chemical families control both the duration and magnitude of inflammation in animal models of complex diseases. Recent advances on the biosynthesis, receptors, and actions of these novel anti-inflammatory and proresolving lipid mediators are reviewed with the aim to bring to attention the important role of specific lipid mediators as endogenous agonists in inflammation resolution.
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