Oxidized phospholipids: emerging lipid mediators in pathophysiology

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Purpose of review

Oxidized phospholipids are biologically active agents that are generated by lipid peroxidation. They are associated with inflammation, oxidative stress and several diseased states as described by an increasing number of reports. In addition, information about the interaction partners, the binding sites, the intracellular signalling and the metabolizing enzymes of these compounds is rapidly increasing. This review will briefly summarize recent findings and focus on mechanisms with potential pathophysiological relevance.

Recent findings

Reports reviewed here provide interesting insights into the involvement of oxidized phospholipids in interleukin transcription, phenotype switching of smooth muscle cells and apoptotic mechanisms of the modified phospholipids as well as the identification of metabolizing enzymes.


Recent studies shed some light on oxidized phospholipid-induced signalling with regard to apoptosis, gene expression and receptor-mediated events. They support the notion that the bioactivities of these natural agents detrimentally contribute to the pathological alteration of basic mechanisms to states recognized in numerous medical conditions. Advances in the knowledge of signalling pathways and interaction partners of oxidized phospholipids will increase our understanding of inflammatory processes and molecular mechanisms of various diseases including atherosclerosis and may play an important role in the development of future therapeutic options or diagnostics.

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