Resolvins: Anti-inflammatory and proresolving mediators derived from omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids

Michael J. Zhang, Matthew Spite

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

129 Scopus citations


Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) are essential to health, and deficiencies in these PUFAs are linked to chronic disease. Although important insights into the diverse biological roles of PUFAs have been made, the mechanistic basis underlying their protective actions is still emerging. Studies over the past decade have elucidated that omega-3 PUFAs are enzymatically converted into bioactive autacoids that have inflammation-resolving properties. Among these, resolvins have emerged as an important family that has potent and stereospecific immunomodulatory roles, elucidation of which has contributed to a growing body of literature demonstrating that resolution of acute inflammation is an active process. In addition to their direct interactions with immune cells, resolvins have effects on nonimmune cells as well, suggesting a much broader role in biological systems than originally appreciated. In this review, we describe the endogenous biosynthesis and immunomodulatory actions of resolvins and highlight their emerging roles in health and disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)203-227
Number of pages25
JournalAnnual review of nutrition
StatePublished - Aug 2012


  • DHA
  • Docosanoids
  • Lipid mediators
  • Resolution of inflammation


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