Leukotrienes (LTs) are lipid mediators derived from the 5-lipoxygenase pathway of arachidonate metabolism. Though best known for their role in asthma, they have broad actions that touch on virtually every aspect of mammalian biology. In a Brief Review published in the journal in 2005, we presented the existing evidence supporting a role for LTs in host defense. In this updated Brief Review, we focus on selected advances since then. We detail new insights into mechanisms and regulation of LT biosynthesis; the protective roles of LTs in the host response to diverse classes of pathogens, with an emphasis on viruses, including SARS-CoV-2; the phagocyte signal transduction mechanisms by which LTs exert their antimicrobial actions; the capacity for overexuberant LT production to promote tissue damage; and roles of LTs in the noninfectious immune-relevant conditions neuroinflammation and cancer.

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