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Br J Pharmacol. 1999 Oct;128(4):853-9.

Distribution and regulation of cyclooxygenase-2 in carrageenan-induced inflammation.

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Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Merck Frosst Center for Therapeutic Research, P.O. Box 1005, Dorval-Pointe-Claire, Québec, H9R 4P8, Canada.


1 We characterized the regulation of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) at the mRNA, protein and mediator level in two rat models of acute inflammation, carrageenan-induced paw oedema and mechanical hyperalgesia. 2 Carrageenan was injected in the hind paw of rat at low (paw oedema) and high doses (hyperalgesia). COX-2 and prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) levels were measured by RT-PCR and immunological assays. We also determined the distribution of COX-2 by immunohistochemistry. 3 The injection of carrageenan produced a significant and parallel induction of both COX-2 and PGE2. This induction was significantly higher in hyperalgesia than in paw oedema. This was probably due to the 9 fold higher concentration of carrageenan used to provoke hyperalgesia. 4 Immunohistochemical examination showed COX-2 immunoreactivity in the epidermis, skeletal muscle and inflammatory cells of rats experiencing hyperalgesia. In paw oedema however, only the epidermis showed positive COX-2 immunoreactivity. 5 Pretreatment with indomethacin completely abolished the induction of COX-2 in paw oedema but not in hyperalgesia. 6 These results suggest that multiple mechanisms regulate COX-2 induction especially in the more severe model. In carrageenan-induced paw oedema, prostanoid production have been linked through the expression of the COX-2 gene which suggest the presence of a positive feedback loop mechanism.

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