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)E2 and 6-keto-PGF(1α) (+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 PGE2 and 6-keto-PGF(1α). 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 PGE2 or 6-keto-PGF(1α) 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 PGE2 and/or PGI2 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.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|Publication status||Published - Aug 29 2000|
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