Purpose of review: Oxidized phospholipids (OxPLs) are abundantly found at sites of inflammation and are considered to play an active role in the modulation of the immune response. Whereas most studies attributed a proinflammatory role to OxPLs, recent studies demonstrate that some products of phospholipid oxidation may in fact exhibit anti-inflammatory properties. This study summarizes the proinflammatory and anti-inflammatory properties of OxPLs and sheds light on the therapeutic potential of OxPL derivatives or analogs for treatment of chronic inflammatory disorders.
Recent findings: OxPLs may inhibit activation of several Toll-like receptors and can epigenetically reduce the capacity of dendritic cells to function as mature, fully functional immunostimulatory cells. These data demonstrate that OxPLs can induce anti-inflammatory effects. Moreover, VB-201, an orally available synthetic phospholipid analog of the Lecinoxoid family, was found to attenuate inflammation in various preclinical animal models and is currently employed in a phase II clinical trial in psoriasis.
Summary: Chemical or biological modifications of phospholipids yield various products, some of which may exhibit anti-inflammatory properties. Identification of such species and generation of more stable/potent anti-inflammatory OxPL variants may represent a novel approach for the treatment of immune-mediated diseases such as psoriasis, atherosclerosis, multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis.