Cigarette smoke is a profound inflammatory stimulus and the chronic inflammation caused by cigarette smoking contributes to multiple fatal diseases including cardiovascular disease, cancer, and COPD (chronic bronchitis and emphysema). The effects of smoking persist long after smoking cessation, and in the case of emphysema can even continue to worsen. This suggests that cigarette smoke interferes with the normal processes that resolve inflammation. It was previously believed that resolution of inflammation was a passive process;it is now known that resolution is an active process managed by specific pro-resolving lipid mediators (PRMs). These mediators, including lipoxins, resolvins, protectins and maresins, act by inhibiting pro-inflammatory signaling and inflammatory cell migration and promoting pro-resolving effector functions such as macrophage phagocytosis of apoptotic inflammatory cells and debris. One of these compounds is already in clinical trials for inflammatory eye disease. We have strong preliminary data that a PRM called resolvin D1 (RvD1), has specific anti-inflammatory and pro-resolving effects on human lung cells, and can inhibit acute cigarette smoke-induced inflammation and airspace enlargement in a mouse model. Our overall hypothesis is that pro-resolving lipid mediators will have profound anti-inflammatory and pro-resolving effects on both acute and chronic lung injury, and that treatment with pro-resolving mediators to promote resolution is a novel and important therapeutic goal for inflammatory diseases caused by cigarette smoking. To investigate this hypothesis we have proposed the following specific aims.
Specific Aim 1. Determine PRMs with the greatest efficacy at promoting resolution of acute inflammation in vitro and in vivo and determine their mechanism of action using primary human lung cells and a mouse model of cigarette smoke-induced acute lung inflammation.
Specific Aim 2. Determine changes in the PRM profile of human samples with smoke-induced chronic lung disease, and evaluate the ability and mechanism by which PRMs prevent and treat lung tissue destruction in a mouse model of chronic smoke exposure. These studies will show for the first time that pro-resolving mediators can be used to prevent inflammation and accelerate resolution/repair of lung injury due to both acute and chronic cigarette smoke exposure. Our results will pave the way for translational development of these exciting new compounds that have the potential to be the first ever effective therapies against human diseases of chronic inflammation and smoking.

Public Health Relevance

Resolution of inflammation, a natural process in which inflamed or injured tissue returns to normal health, is impaired by cigarette smoking. This project will investigate the utility of a new class of pro-resolving molecules in preventing and treating lung inflammation and injury due to smoking. These compounds have great potential as new human therapies for smoking-related lung disease.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
Research Project (R01)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Lung Injury, Repair, and Remodeling Study Section (LIRR)
Program Officer
Postow, Lisa
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
University of Rochester
Internal Medicine/Medicine
Schools of Dentistry
United States
Zip Code
Lacy, Shannon H; Woeller, Collynn F; Thatcher, Thomas H et al. (2018) Activated Human Lung Fibroblasts Produce Extracellular Vesicles with Anti-Fibrotic Prostaglandins. Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol :
Lacy, Shannon H; Epa, Amali P; Pollock, Stephen J et al. (2018) Activated human T lymphocytes inhibit TGF?-induced fibroblast to myofibroblast differentiation via prostaglandins D2 and E2. Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol 314:L569-L582
Duffney, Parker F; McCarthy, Claire E; Nogales, Aitor et al. (2018) Cigarette smoke dampens antiviral signaling in small airway epithelial cells by disrupting TLR3 cleavage. Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol 314:L505-L513
Bhat, Tariq A; Kalathil, Suresh Gopi; Bogner, Paul N et al. (2018) Secondhand Smoke Induces Inflammation and Impairs Immunity to Respiratory Infections. J Immunol 200:2927-2940
Duffney, Parker F; Falsetta, Megan L; Rackow, Ashley R et al. (2018) Key roles for lipid mediators in the adaptive immune response. J Clin Invest 128:2724-2731
McCarthy, Claire E; Duffney, Parker F; Wyatt, Jeffrey D et al. (2017) Comparison of in vitro toxicological effects of biomass smoke from different sources of animal dung. Toxicol In Vitro 43:76-86
Croasdell, Amanda; Lacy, Shannon H; Thatcher, Thomas H et al. (2016) Resolvin D1 Dampens Pulmonary Inflammation and Promotes Clearance of Nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae. J Immunol 196:2742-52
Lacy, Shannon H; Woeller, Collynn F; Thatcher, Thomas H et al. (2016) Human lung fibroblasts produce proresolving peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-? ligands in a cyclooxygenase-2-dependent manner. Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol 311:L855-L867
Thatcher, Thomas H; Williams, Marc A; Pollock, Stephen J et al. (2016) Endogenous ligands of the aryl hydrocarbon receptor regulate lung dendritic cell function. Immunology 147:41-54
McCarthy, Claire E; Duffney, Parker F; Gelein, Robert et al. (2016) Dung biomass smoke activates inflammatory signaling pathways in human small airway epithelial cells. Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol 311:L1222-L1233

Showing the most recent 10 out of 15 publications