Overview

Inflammation is an attempt for the body to protect itself as part of a complex biological response of vascular tissue to harmful stimuli, such as pathogens, damaged cells or irritants. Just as the immune system can be triggered to elicit inflammation, it can also be triggered to "resolve" or turn off inflammation. This "off" switch for inflammation was discovered relatively recently, resulting from the production of anti-inflammatory cellular mediators such as resolvins and lipoxins. Many chronic inflammatory diseases result from an imbalance between the "on" and "off" signals resulting in heightened inflammation that is unable to resolve.

One of the triggers for this process is the CB2 receptor pathway found in lymphocytes, dendritic cells, macrophages, glial cells and other immune cells. Upon activation of the CB2 receptor on immune cells there is a shift in eicosanoid production, resulting in a reduction in pro-inflammatory eicosanoids (e.g. PGE2 and LTB4) and an increase in specialized pro-resolving mediator eicosanoids (e.g. PGJ2 and LXA4). The end result is that inflammation is halted and resolved while the damaged tissue is remodeled and healed.