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J Biol Chem. 2003 Sep 12;278(37):34834-44. Epub 2003 Jun 30.

Regulation of cyclooxygenase-2 expression in monocytes by ligation of the receptor for advanced glycation end products.

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  • 1Gonda Diabetes Research Center, Beckman Research Institute of the City of Hope, Duarte, California 91010, USA.


Cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) enzyme and its inflammatory products such as prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) have been implicated in the pathogenesis of several inflammatory diseases. However their role in diabetic vascular disease is unclear. Advanced glycation end products (AGEs) act via their receptor, RAGE, to play a major role in diabetic complications. In this study, we investigated the effect of AGEs and S100b, a specific RAGE ligand, on the expression of COX-2 and the molecular mechanisms involved in cultured THP-1 monocytes and human peripheral blood monocytes. S100b treatment of THP-1 cells led to a significant 3-5-fold induction of COX-2 mRNA (p < 0.001). COX-2 protein and its product PGE2 were also increased, whereas COX-1 expression was unaffected. In vitro prepared AGE also induced COX-2 mRNA. S100b-induced COX-2 mRNA was blocked by an anti-RAGE antibody and by inhibitors of NF-kappa B (Bay11-7082), oxidant stress, protein kinase C, ERK, and p38 MAPKs. S100b (4-h treatment) significantly increased transcription from a human COX-2 promoter-luciferase construct (4-fold, p < 0.001). Promoter deletion analyses and inhibition of transcription by an NF-kappa B superrepressor mutant confirmed NF-kappa B involvement. This was further supported by inhibition of S100b-induced PGE2 by Bay11-7082. Additionally, S100b-induced adherence of THP-1 monocytes to vascular smooth muscle cells was blocked by the COX-2 inhibitor NS-398, Bay11-7082, inhibitors of ERK and p38 MAPK, and protein kinase C thereby indicating functional relevance. S100b also increased COX-2 mRNA expression in human peripheral blood monocytes from healthy donors. Moreover, COX-2 mRNA levels were clearly evident in monocytes obtained from diabetic patients but not from normal subjects. These results show for the first time that AGEs can augment inflammatory responses by up-regulating COX-2 via RAGE and multiple signaling pathways, thereby leading to monocyte activation and vascular cell dysfunction.

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