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New Lead in Resolving Tissue Inflammation

January 27, 2009

Maresin 1Whether discussing gingivitis or peritonitis, inflammation is by nature a self limiting process.  That is, like blowing air into a balloon, a site of inflammation can expand only so far before straining healthy tissue and thus becoming an impediment to the natural healing process.  Over the past decade or so, scientists have begun identifying the various molecules that mediate this all-important transition to resolution, recognizing their tremendous potential to better control inflammation.  As this research has progressed, it had produced a growing lexicon of specialized molecules, metabolites, and substrates that mediate the resolution process.  In the December 22, 2008 issue of the Journal of Experimental Medicine, NIDCR grantees and colleagues add a new name to the pro-resolution lexicon.  Their find is a molecule that they call a maresin, short for the descriptive “MФ mediator in resolving inflammation.”  According to the scientists, their discovery enhances resolution along a previously unknown cellular pathway within key immune cells called macrophages and polymorphonuclear neutrophils, or PMNs.   In the paper, the scientists present a hypothetical biochemical scheme that explains how the maresin pathway might work.


  • The citation for this article is: Serhan CN, Yang R, Martinod K, Kasuga K, Pillai PS, Porter TE, Oh SF, and Spite M. J Exp Med. 2009 Jan 16; 206(1):15-23. Epub 2008 Dec 22.



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This page last updated: February 26, 2014