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

Ken Shinmura, Xian Liang Tang, Yang Wang, Yu Ting Xuan, Si Qi Liu, Hitoshi Takano, Aruni Bhatnagar, Roberto Bolli

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352 Citations (Scopus)


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 languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10197-10202
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - 2000 Aug 29
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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