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Trends Endocrinol Metab. 2005 Jul;16(5):199-201.

Estrogen stimulation of COX-2-derived PGI2 confers atheroprotection.

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Section on Hormonal Regulation, Endocrinology & Reproduction Research Branch, NICHD, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892-4510, USA.


Although selective cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) inhibitors provide relief from pain and inflammation, they also reduce the formation of the atheroprotective prostaglandin I2 (PGI2). They do not reduce the formation of the COX-1-derived thromboxane A2 (TXA2), however, which is both atherogenic and a potent vasoconstrictor. For this reason, the effects of TXA2 might be exacerbated during extended therapy with COX-2 inhibitors, potentially predisposing patients to heart attack and stroke. Recent studies have demonstrated that the atheroprotective effects of estrogen are induced through PGI2 production, through COX-2 activation. This explains how estrogen production in pre-menopausal females is beneficial for the heart and also raises the possibility that COX-2 inhibitors might be particularly hazardous to females.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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