Role of lipoxins and resolvins as anti-inflammatory and proresolving mediators in colon cancer

Naveena B. Janakiram, Chinthalapally V. Rao

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


Recently, lipoxins (LXs) and resolvins (Rvs) have become the topic of intense interest because of expanding views of their action, particularly in chronic disorders where unresolved inflammation is a key factor leading to colon carcinogenesis. Rvs are biosynthesized from omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentanoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) via cyclooxygenase-2/lipoxygenase (COX-2/LOX) pathways; Rvs are shown to dramatically reduce dermal inflammation, peritonitis, dendritic cell migration, and interleukin production. This explains that dietary supplementation of omega-3 fatty acids generates potent local endogenous mediators that control inflammation. LXs are biosynthesized from COX-2/LOX pathways. Metabolites of 15-LOX-1 and 2 are anti-tumorigenic; similarly, 15-epi-LXA4 synthesized during COX-2 acetylation by low doses of aspirin too possesses anti-tumorigenic effects. Acetylating nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), like aspirin, switches COX-2 from forming PGE2 (promoting tumorigenesis) to 15-epi-LXA4 (antitumorigenesis). LXs and Rvs are endogenously generated during the spontaneous resolution phase. These newly identified LXs and Rvs have proved to be potent regulators of both leukocytes and cytokine productions, thereby regulating the events of interest in inflammation and resolution. In light of existing knowledge on interconnected pathways of pro-inflammatory mediators (leukotrienes, chemokines (IL8, SDF-1α, MIP-1α, MCP-1,2 etc), and cytokines (IL3, IL6, IL12, IL-1β, GM-CSF, B94, TNF-α etc)), the anti-inflammatory properties of pro-resolving mediators in preventing chronic inflammation which leads to carcinogenesis needs further understanding. In this review, we explore the mechanisms that trigger formation of LXs and Rvs, to highlight the relative importance of LXs and Rvs in carcinogenesis in relation to pro-inflammatory mediators.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)565-579
Number of pages15
JournalCurrent Molecular Medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jun 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • 15-LOX
  • COX-2
  • Colon cancer
  • Inflammation
  • Lipoxins
  • Resolvins


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