Bioactive matrix fragments (matrikines) have been identified in a myriad of disorders, but their impact on the evolution of airway inflammation has not been demonstrated. We recently described a pathway where the matrikine and neutrophil chemoattractant proline-glycine-proline (PGP) could be degraded by the enzyme leukotriene A 4 hydrolase (LTA 4 H). LTA 4 H classically functions in the generation of pro-inflammatory leukotriene B 4, thus LTA 4 H exhibits opposing pro- and anti-inflammatory activities. The physiological significance of this secondary anti-inflammatory activity remains unknown. Here we show, using readily resolving pulmonary inflammation models, that loss of this secondary activity leads to more pronounced and sustained inflammation and illness owing to PGP accumulation. PGP elicits an exacerbated neutrophilic inflammation and protease imbalance that further degrades the extracellular matrix, generating fragments that perpetuate inflammation. This highlights a critical role for the secondary anti-inflammatory activity of LTA 4 H and thus has consequences for the generation of global LTA 4 H inhibitors currently being developed.