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J Ocul Pharmacol Ther. 2000 Aug;16(4):353-61.

Constitutive cyclooxygenase-1 and induced cyclooxygenase-2 in isolated human iris inhibited by S(+) flurbiprofen.

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The Netherlands Ophthalmic Research Institute, Amsterdam.


The purpose of the present study was to characterize the isoforms of cyclooxygenase (COX) in the human iris before and after stimulation with lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and to determine the selectivity of the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), S(+) flurbiprofen, for inhibition of COX-1 and COX-2 in homogenates of this tissue. Spotblots were made of extracts of human iris in the absence and presence of LPS plus acetylsalicylic acid (aspirin). After reacting with anti-COX-1 and anti-COX-2 immunoglobulin G, the presence of both immunoreactive COX enzymes was substantiated using an indirect immunoperoxidase method. Authentic COX-1 and COX-2 were used as controls. Using an enzyme immune assay (EIA), the production of prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) was quantified in tissue homogenates of human iris under the same conditions as described above. S(+) flurbiprofen was added to tissue homogenates in order to determine the inhibitory effect on PGE2 production. Half maximal inhibitory concentrations (IC50) of S(+) flurbiprofen for the PGE2 production in the tissue homogenates were determined from concentration inhibition curves. The selectivity of S(+) flurbiprofen for inhibition of COX-1 was expressed as the ratio of IC50 for COX-2/COX-1. Spotblots of nonstimulated iris-extracts showed positive staining for COX-1 immunoreactivity (-ir) only. After incubation with LPS plus acetylsalicylic acid, positive staining was observed for both COX-1-ir and COX-2-ir. Concentrations of PGE2 released from homogenates of untreated iris varied from 1.5-4 ng/ml, and of LPS-stimulated tissue from 10-20 ng/ml of assay mixture. S(+) flurbiprofen inhibited PGE2 production of untreated tissue homogenates at an IC50 of 8 x 10(-10) M whereas, in the stimulated tissue, IC50 was found to be 3 x 10(-6) M. The selectivity of S(+) flurbiprofen for inhibition of constitutively present COX-1, relative to the inhibition of induced COX-2, was 3,600. Our results indicate that specific expression of COX isoforms in normal human iris was substantiated at the protein level by immunoreaction on spotblots. COX-1 represents the constitutively present enzyme, and COX-2 appears after stimulation with LPS. At the functional level, S(+) flurbiprofen possesses a specificity for COX-1 in inhibiting PGE2 production.

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