Inflammation shut down is not automatic; the body actively shuts it down

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The recent article, ‘Inflammation’s stop signals’, published in the highly esteemed journal, Science, talks about how the body systematically shuts down inflammatory signals. In the case of an infection, entry of a pathogen or an injury, inflammation is unavoidable and highly important. But there is definitely a need to stop the inflammatory signals at some point. Until now, researchers thought that there was no evident stop signal and the body gradually stops inflammation once the stimulus is removed. But the present study proves that there is and it is of course, produced by the human body itself. A myriad of molecules including Lipoxins, Protectins, Resolvins, Maresins, H2S, Annexin A1, Macrophages, nerve cells and endothelial cells are actively involved in the process of shutting down inflammation by targeting various cells thus promoting tissue healing.

Figure. Inflammation (Pictures sourced from http://bit.ly/1Kibvdk; http://bit.ly/1xOcwXb; http://bit.ly/1BuZhKa)
Figure. Inflammation (Pictures sourced from http://bit.ly/1Kibvdk; http://bit.ly/1xOcwXb; http://bit.ly/1BuZhKa)

Dr. Charles Serhan, Professor of Anaesthesia at Harvard Medical School, Director and Principal Investigator and NIH Program Project Program Director and Professor of Oral Medicine, Infection and Immunity at Harvard School of Dental Medicine, and his group explored the molecular signals used by the body to naturally shut down inflammation. His brush with death in 1990, due to a hole in his intestine during a trip to Asia, encouraged him to do this study. This could prove beneficial to therapies as we would then know which molecule or which signaling pathway to manipulate to reduce inflammation.

The original article can be accessed at: http://www.sciencemag.org/content/347/6217/18

Disclaimer: This article does not reflect any personal views of the authors/editors

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Scientist-entrepreneur-manager-journalist: -Co-founder, Author; Former Assistant Editor and Director, Biotechin.Asia, Biotech Media Pte. Ltd.; -Founder & CEO, SciGlo (www.sciglo.com); -Programme Management Officer, SBIC, A*STAR (former Research Fellow). --Sandhya graduated from University of Madras, India (B.Sc Microbiology and M.Sc Biotechnology) and received her Ph.D from the Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. She worked on oxidative stress in skin, skeletal, adipose tissue and cardiac muscle for a decade from 2006-2016. She is currently working as a Programme Management Officer handling projects and grants at Singapore Bioimaging Consortium (SBIC), Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR). Earlier to this she was a Research Fellow in the Fat Metabolism and Stem Cell Group at SBIC. Sandhya was also the Vice President and Publicity Chair of A*PECSS (A*STAR Post Doc Society) (2014-2016). Recently she founded a platform for scientists - SciGlo (www.sciglo.com) and is a startup mentor at Vertical VC (Finland). She is an ardent lover of science and enjoys globe trotting and good vegetarian food.

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