Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 1999 Apr 27;96(9):5292-7

Suppression of inducible cyclooxygenase 2 gene transcription by aspirin and sodium salicylate.

Xu XM, Sansores-Garcia L, Chen XM, Matijevic-Aleksic N, Du M, Wu KK

Vascular Biology Research Center and Division of Hematology, University of Texas-Houston Medical School, Houston, TX 77030, USA.

The pharmacological action of salicylate cannot be explained by its inhibition of cyclooxygenase (COX) activity. In this report, the effects of aspirin and sodium salicylate on COX-2 expressions in human umbilical vein endothelial cells and foreskin fibroblasts were evaluated. Aspirin and sodium salicylate at therapeutic concentrations equipotently blocked COX-2 mRNA and protein levels induced by interleukin-1beta and phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate. The suppressing effect was more pronounced in cultured cells deprived of fetal bovine serum for 24 h, suggesting that it may be cell cycle related. Salicylate inhibited nascent COX-2 transcript synthesis but had no effect on COX-2 mRNA stability. It inhibited COX-2 promoter activity in a concentration-dependent manner. In mice pretreated with aspirin (10 and 30 mg/kg), followed by challenge with lipopolysaccharide, COX-2 mRNA expression in peritoneal macrophages was markedly suppressed. These findings suggest that salicylate exerts its antiinflammatory action in part by suppressing COX-2 induction, thereby reducing the synthesis of proinflammatory prostaglandins.

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