Research highlight

Aspirin leads to beneficial lipids

Nature Chemical Biology

May 3, 2010

Lipids produced by the aspirin target COX-2 have anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties as presented in a study published online this week in Nature Chemical Biology.

Omega-3 fatty acids are known to have various health benefits including being anti-inflammatory, and playing an important role in brain and retinal development.

By using mass spectrometry, Bruce Freeman and colleagues identified four new lipids that are derived from COX-2 acting on two types of omega-3 fatty acids in the immune system cells called macrophages. The new signalling lipids, termed EFOXs have anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant effects which can be enhanced by aspirin, through the activation of COX-2.

doi: 10.1038/nchembio.367

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