Specialized proresolving mediators (SPMs) are a novel class of endogenous lipids, derived by ω-6 and ω-3 essential polyunsaturated fatty acids such as arachidonic acid (AA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) that trigger and orchestrate the resolution of inflammation, which is the series of cellular and molecular events that leads to spontaneous regression of inflammatory processes and restoring of tissue homeostasis. These lipids are emerging as highly effective therapeutic agents that exert their immunoregulatory activity by activating the proresolving pathway, as reported by a consistent bulk of evidences gathered in the last two decades since their discovery. The production of reactive oxygen (ROS) and nitrogen (RNS) species by immune cells plays indeed an important role in the inflammatory mechanisms of host defence, and it is now clear that oxidative stress, viewed as an imbalance between such species and their elimination, can lead to many chronic inflammatory diseases. This review, the first of its kind, is aimed at exploring the manifold effects of SPMs on modulation of reactive species production, along with the mechanisms through which they either inhibit molecular signalling pathways that are activated by oxidative stress or induce the expression of endogenous antioxidant systems. Furthermore, the possible role of SPMs in oxidative stress-mediated chronic disorders is also summarized, suggesting not only that their anti-inflammatory and proresolving properties are strictly associated with their antioxidant role but also that these endogenous lipids might be exploited in the treatment of several pathologies in which uncontrolled production of ROS and RNS or impairment of the antioxidant machinery represents a main pathogenetic mechanism.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology