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The omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) possesses potent anti-inflammatory properties and has shown therapeutic benefit in numerous inflammatory diseases. However, the molecular mechanisms of these anti-inflammatory properties are poorly understood. DHA is highly susceptible to peroxidation, which yields an array of potentially bioactive lipid species. One class of compounds are cyclopentenone neuroprostanes (A(4)/J(4)-NPs), which are highly reactive and similar in structure to anti-inflammatory cyclopentenone prostaglandins. Here we show that a synthetic A(4)/J(4)-NP, 14-A(4)-NP (A(4)-NP), potently suppresses lipopolysaccharideinduced expression of inducible nitric-oxide synthase and cyclooxygenase-2 in macrophages. Furthermore, A(4)-NP blocks lipopolysaccharide-induced NF-kappaB activation via inhibition of Ikappa kinase-mediated phosphorylation of IkappaBalpha. Mutation on Ikappa kinase beta cysteine 179 markedly diminishes the effect of A(4)-NP, suggesting that A(4)-NP acts via thiol modification at this residue. Accordingly, the effects of A(4)-NP are independent of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma and are dependent on an intact reactive cyclopentenone ring. Interestingly, free radical-mediated oxidation of DHA greatly enhances its anti-inflammatory potency, an effect that closely parallels the formation of A(4)/J(4)-NPs. Furthermore, chemical reduction or conjugation to glutathione, both of which eliminate the bioactivity of A(4)-NP, also abrogate the anti-inflammatory effects of oxidized DHA. Thus, we have demonstrated that A(4)/J(4)-NPs, formed via the oxidation of DHA, are potent inhibitors of NF-kappaB signaling and may contribute to the anti-inflammatory actions of DHA. These findings have implications for understanding the anti-inflammatory properties of omega-3 fatty acids, and elucidate novel interactions between lipid peroxidation products and inflammation.