CERIC Center of Excellence for Research on Inflammation and Cardiovascular disease

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Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics, Division of Physiological Chemisty 2, Karolinska Institutet

Phone +46 8 524 876 12

Group members


Anders Wetterholm, PhD
Craig Wheelock, PhD

Post-doctoral fellows

Fabio Dalexandri, PhD,
Agnes Rinaldo-Matthis, PhD
Susanna Lundström, PhD
Antonio Di Gennaro, PhD
Ulrike Haas, PhD
Alicia Hidalgo, PhD

PhD students

Min Wan

Technical and administrative staff

Eva Ohlson, technician
Anneli Svarén, adminstrator

Jesper Z. Haeggström

Arachidonic acid is the precursor of a broad spectrum of bioactive lipids in plants and animals. In mammals, the most well known classes are the prostaglandins, thromboxanes, leukotrienes and lipoxins which all have powerful and diverse biological activities related to a multitude of physiological as well as pathological conditions.

Our research is focused on a family of lipid mediators called the leukotrienes (LT) involved in a number of inflammatory and allergic diseases, in particular asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, and arteriosclerosis. We investigate the biosynthetic and regulatory mechanisms involved in leukotriene formation at a cellular, enzyme, and genetic level with particular emphasis on 5-lipoxygenase (5-LO), LTA4 hydrolase (LTA4H) and LTC4 synthase (LTC4S). These three enzymes catalyze the key steps in the biosynthesis of the proinflammatory compounds LTB4 and LTC4.

Based on research on metabolites and proteins in the arachidonic cascade, a number of new drugs against inflammation, allergy, asthma and glaucoma have been developed and new pharmacological principles continuously evolve from this research area.

Research interactions with CERIC

  • Studies on the role of eicosanoids in atherosclerosis and CVD.
  • Elucidation of lipid and peptide mediator synergies in the innate immune response.
  • Impact of CMV infection on cellular eicosanoid synthesis and actions.
  • Effects of anti-inflammatory, anti-rheumatic drugs on the eicosanoid cascade.