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

Up-regulation of endothelial cyclooxygenase-2 and prostanoid synthesis by platelets. Role of thromboxane A2.

Platelet-vascular endothelial cell interactions are central to the maintenance of vascular homeostasis. Thromboxane A2 (TXA2) and prostacyclin (prostaglandin (PG)I2) are the major products of cyclooxygenase (COX) metabolism by platelets and the vascular endothelium, respectively. Here we report the effects of platelet-endothelial interactions on human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) COX-2 expression and prostanoid synthesis. Co-incubation of platelets with HUVECs resulted in a dose-dependent induction in COX-2 expression. This was accompanied by a relatively small increase in thromboxane B2 synthesis (2 ng) by comparison to the production of 6-keto-PGF1alpha and PGE2, which increased by approximately 14 and 12 ng, respectively. Abrogation of platelet-HUVEC interactions excluded direct cell-cell contact as a required event. Preincubation of HUVECs with SQ29548, a TXA2 receptor antagonist, dose-dependently inhibited platelet-induced COX-2 expression and prostanoid synthesis. Similarly, if platelet TXA2 synthesis was inhibited no induction of COX-2 was observed. Furthermore, a TXA2 analog, carbocyclic TXA2, induced HUVEC COX-2 expression and the synthesis of 6-keto-PGF1alpha and PGE2. This was also associated with an increase in the expression and activity of PGI synthase and PGE synthase but not TX synthase. Platelet co-incubation (or TXA2) also selectively activated the p44/42 mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway to regulate HUVEC COX-2 expression. Thus it seems that platelet-derived TXA2 can act in a paracrine manner to up-regulate endothelial COX-2 expression and PGI2 synthesis. These observations are of particular importance given the recent observations regarding selective COX-2 inhibitors and the suppression of PGI2 synthesis.[1]


  1. Up-regulation of endothelial cyclooxygenase-2 and prostanoid synthesis by platelets. Role of thromboxane A2. Caughey, G.E., Cleland, L.G., Gamble, J.R., James, M.J. J. Biol. Chem. (2001) [Pubmed]
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