Inflammation is the first response of the immune system to infection or injury, but excessive or inappropriate inflammatory responses contribute to a range of acute and chronic human diseases. Clinical assessment of dietary supplementation of ω-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (i.e., eicosapentaenoic acid [EPA] and docosahexaenoic acid [DHA]) indicate that they have beneficial impact on these diseases, although the mechanisms are poorly understood at the molecular level. In this decade, it has been revealed that EPA and DHA are enzymatically converted to bioactive metabolites in the course of acute inflammation and resolution. These metabolites were shown to regulate immune cell functions and to display potent anti-inflammatory actions both in vitro and in vivo. Because of their ability to resolve an acute inflammatory response, they are referred to as proresolving mediators, or resolvins. In this review, we provide an overview of the formation and actions of these lipid mediators.
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