Arachidonic acid – The substance that is a pre- cursor of inflammatory mediators such as prostaglandins and leukotrienes

Chemokines – An agent of the inflammatory process that attracts or recruits cells to the site

Cyclooxygenase pathway – One arm of the arachidonic acid cascade that leads to pro- duction of prostaglandins and thromboxanes

Cytokines – Proteins produced by a cell to modulate the actions of other cells; also known as messenger proteins

Growth factors – The molecules that stimulate cell growth or activation

Lipoxygenase pathway –  One arm of the arachidonic acid cascade that leads to pro- duction of leukotrienes and lipoxins

 Major histocompatibility complex (MHC) – A cluster of genes important in immune rec- ognition and signaling between cells of the immune system; also called human leukocyte antigen

Matrix metalloproteinases (MMP) – Agents of the inflammatory process that degrade the extracellular matrix

Phagocytosis – The process by which white blood cells ingest debris or micro- organisms

Inflammatory mediators often play important roles in the normal cell, regulating the synthesis and turnover of ECM, for ex- ample. Accordingly, blocking their production can have adverse effects on normal cell physiology. At best, inflammation can be controlled by modulating the production of these mediators.

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In response to a trigger, such as an injury or an antigen, cells in affected tissue produce signals to initiate the infiltration of white blood cells (such as monocytes, granulocytes, and lymphocytes) to the site.

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