Chronic inflammation: a failure of resolution?


Dr Toby Lawrence
Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology Division
Faculty of Medicine
Imperial College
London W6 8LH
Tel: +44(0)20 83834765
Fax: +44(0)20 83834499


Inflammation has evolved as a protective response to insult or injury, it's a primordial response that eliminates or neutralises foreign organisms or material, the resolution of inflammation encompasses the endogenous anti-inflammatory mechanisms that protect us against excessive tissue injury and promote the restoration of tissue structure and function. In fact, our well being and survival depends upon its efficiency and carefully-balanced control. In general, the innate inflammatory response initiates within minutes and, if all is well, resolves within hours. In contrast, chronic inflammation persists for weeks, months or even years. Here, we are going to discuss the key endogenous checkpoints necessary for mounting an effective yet limited inflammatory response and the crucial biochemical pathways necessary to prevent its persistence.