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Curr Med Chem. 2018 May 13. doi: 10.2174/0929867325666180514112124. [Epub ahead of print]

Cyclooxygenase-2 inhibitors as a therapeutic target in inflammatory diseases.

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Department of Basic Biology and Health Sciences. IUNICS Palma. Spain.
Experimental Laboratory, Research Unit - Son Llatzer Hospital Balearic Islands. Spain.


Inflammation plays a crucial role in the development of many complex diseases and disorders including autoimmune diseases, metabolic syndrome, neurodegenerative diseases, and cardiovascular pathologies. Prostaglandins play a regulatory role in inflammation. Cyclooxygenases are the main mediators of inflammation by catalyzing the initial step of arachidonic acid metabolism and prostaglandin synthesis. The differential expression of the constitutive isoform COX-1 and the inducible isoform COX-2, and the finding that COX-1 is the major form expressed in the gastro-intestinal tract, lead to the search for COX-2-selective inhibitors as anti-inflammatory agents that might diminish the gastrointestinal side effects of traditional non-steroidal anti-inflamatory drugs (NSAIDs). COX-2 isoform is expressed predominantly in inflammatory cells and decidedly upregulated in chronic and acute inflammations, becoming a critical target for many pharmacological inhibitors. COX-2 selective inhibitors happen to show equivalent efficacy with that of conventional NSAIDs, but they have reduced gastrointestinal side effects. This review would elucidate the most recent findings on selective COX-2 inhibition and their relevance to human pathology, concretely in inflammatory pathologies characterized by a prolonged pro-inflammatory status, including autoimmune diseases, metabolic syndrome, obesity, atherosclerosis, neurodegenerative diseases, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, arthritis, chronic inflammatory bowel disease and cardiovascular pathologies.


COX inhibitors; Cyclooxygenase; inflammation; interleukin; natural compound; prostaglandin

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