Multicellular responses to infection, injury, or inflammatory stimuli lead to the formation and release of a wide range of local chemical mediators by the host. The integrated response of the host is essential in health and disease, thus it is important to achieve a more complete understanding of the local cellular and molecular events that govern the formation and actions of local mediators that can serve as endogenous counter-regulatory functions in effector cells of the immune system or "endogenous local mediators of resolution."

Since these compounds in theory and in experimental models of inflammation appear to control the duration and magnitude of inflammation, knowledge of their elucidation could provide new avenues for appreciating the molecular phenotypes of many inflammatory diseases. The first of these endogenous local counter-regulators recognized were the lipoxins, which are trihydroxytetraene-containing lipid mediators that can be formed during cell-cell interactions via transcellular biosynthesis.

Since this circuit of lipoxin formation and action appears to be of physiological relevance for the resolution of inflammation, therapeutic modalities targeted at this system are likely to have fewer unwanted side effects acting as agonists than the inhibitor approach currently used in anti-inflammatory therapies. This chapter provides an overview of the recent knowledge about the biosynthesis and bioactions of the novel anti-inflammatory lipid mediators, resolvins, docosatrienes, and neuroprotectins, and their aspirin-triggered counterparts.

These novel families of lipid-derived mediators, which carry anti-inflammatory, pro-resolving, and protective properties, were originally isolated during spontaneous resolution. These new pathways open new opportunities for appreciating the role of neutrophils in the generation of potent protective lipid mediators and protective host signaling.