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Ann Neurol. 2000 Nov;48(5):792-5.

Inhibition of cyclooxygenase-2 protects motor neurons in an organotypic model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

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Department of Neurology, The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21287-7519, USA.


The pathogenesis of motor neuron loss in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is thought to involve both glutamate-mediated excitotoxicity and oxidative damage due to the accumulation of free radicals and other toxic molecules. Cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) may play a key role in these processes by producing prostaglandins, which trigger astrocytic glutamate release, and by inducing free radical formation. We tested the effects of COX-2 inhibition in an organotypic spinal cord culture model of ALS. The COX-2 inhibitor (SC236) provided significant protection against loss of spinal motor neurons in this system, suggesting that it may be useful in the treatment of ALS.

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