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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Cyclooxygenase-2 mediates the cardioprotective effects of the late phase of ischemic preconditioning in conscious rabbits.

We examined the role of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) in the late phase of ischemic preconditioning (PC). A total of 176 conscious rabbits were used. Ischemic PC (six cycles of 4-min coronary occlusions/4-min reperfusions) resulted in a rapid increase in myocardial COX-2 mRNA levels (+231 +/- 64% at 1 h; RNase protection assay) followed 24 h later by an increase in COX-2 protein expression (+216 +/- 79%; Western blotting) and in the myocardial content of prostaglandin (PG)E(2) and 6-keto-PGF(1alpha) (+250 +/- 85% and +259 +/- 107%, respectively; enzyme immunoassay). Administration of two unrelated COX-2 selective inhibitors (NS-398 and celecoxib) 24 h after ischemic PC abolished the ischemic PC-induced increase in tissue levels of PGE(2) and 6-keto-PGF(1alpha). The same doses of NS-398 and celecoxib, given 24 h after ischemic PC, completely blocked the cardioprotective effects of late PC against both myocardial stunning and myocardial infarction, indicating that COX-2 activity is necessary for this phenomenon to occur. Neither NS-398 nor celecoxib lowered PGE(2) or 6-keto-PGF(1alpha) levels in the nonischemic region of preconditioned rabbits, indicating that constitutive COX-1 activity was unaffected. Taken together, these results demonstrate that, in conscious rabbits, up-regulation of COX-2 plays an essential role in the cardioprotection afforded by the late phase of ischemic PC. Therefore, this study identifies COX-2 as a cardioprotective protein. The analysis of arachidonic acid metabolites strongly points to PGE(2) and/or PGI(2) as the likely effectors of COX-2-dependent protection. The recognition that COX-2 mediates the antistunning and antiinfarct effects of late PC impels a reassessment of current views regarding this enzyme, which is generally regarded as detrimental.[1]


  1. Cyclooxygenase-2 mediates the cardioprotective effects of the late phase of ischemic preconditioning in conscious rabbits. Shinmura, K., Tang, X.L., Wang, Y., Xuan, Y.T., Liu, S.Q., Takano, H., Bhatnagar, A., Bolli, R. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (2000) [Pubmed]
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