Inflammation is the host response to infection and injury. Inflammatory cells respond to foreign substances and inflammatory stimulus by producing bioactive mediators such as prostanoids, cytokines and chemokines. These mediators have complex, pleiotropic effects and interact with many cell types to amplify the inflammatory response. Dysregulation of these processes can lead to acute and chronic inflammatory diseases and pharmacological intervention is necessary to attenuate cellular inflammation pathways. Cyclooxygenase-2, the key inducible enzyme responsible for producing prostanoids, and the nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB) activation pathway, which regulates the transcription of inflammatory genes, represent attractive targets for developing anti-inflammatory therapeutics, as both pathways are activated by diverse inflammatory stimuli. This article reviews recent advances in anti-inflammatory drug development in both of these areas. Selective inhibitors of inflammation including cyclooxygenase inhibitors, antibodies against inflammatory cytokines, cytokine receptor antagonist, antibodies against adhesion molecules and therapeutics directed against the NF-κB activation pathway will be discussed.
Keywords: immunomodulation, therapeutics, cytokines, nuclear factor, cyclooxygenase
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