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J Cell Biochem. 2008 Aug 1;104(5):1832-42. doi: 10.1002/jcb.21749.

Selective inhibition of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) by 1alpha,25-dihydroxy-16-ene-23-yne-vitamin D3, a less calcemic vitamin D analog.

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Department of Animal Sciences, School of Life Sciences, University of Hyderabad, Hyderabad 500046, India.


Inducible cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) has been implicated to play a role in inflammation and carcinogenesis and selective COX-2 inhibitors have been considered as anti-inflammatory and cancer chemopreventive agents. 1alpha,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 (1alpha,25(OH)2D3), the active hormonal form of vitamin D3 also has been considered to be a cancer chemopreventive agent in addition to its important role in maintaining calcium homeostasis. Based on these observations, we studied the direct effect of 1alpha,25(OH)2D3 and one of its less calcemic synthetic analogs, 1alpha,25(OH)2-16-ene-23-yne-D3 on the activity of both COX-1 and COX-2 in an in vitro enzyme assay. Preliminary data indicated that both 1alpha,25(OH)2D3 and 1alpha,25(OH)2-16-ene-23-yne-D3 inhibited selectively the activity of COX-2 with no effect on the activity of COX-1. Out of the two compounds, 1alpha,25(OH)2-16-ene-23-yne-D3 was found to be more effective with an IC50 of 5.8 nM. Therefore, the rest of the experiments were performed using 1alpha,25(OH)2-16-ene-23-yne-D3 only. 1alpha,25(OH)2-16-ene-23-yne-D3 inhibited the proliferation of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) stimulated mouse macrophage cells (RAW 264.7) with a reduction in the expression of COX-2 along with other inflammatory mediators like inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and interleukin-2 (IL-2). Furthermore, 1alpha,25(OH)2-16-ene-23-yne-D3 also inhibited carrageenan induced inflammation in an air pouch of a rat and effectively reduced the expression of COX-2, iNOS, and IL-2 in the tissues of the same air pouch. In both cases, 1alpha,25(OH)2-16-ene-23-yne-D3 did not show any effect on the expression of COX-1. In summary, our results indicate that 1alpha,25(OH)2-16-ene-23-yne-D3, a less calcemic vitamin D analog, exhibits potent anti-inflammatory effects and is a selective COX-2 inhibitor.

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