COX-2-Derived Prostaglandin E2 Produced by Pyramidal Neurons Contributes to Neurovascular Coupling in the Rodent Cerebral Cortex.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are widely used for the treatment of inflammatory diseases. NSAIDs inhibit cyclooxygenase (COX), the rate limiting enzyme responsible for the conversion of arachidonic acid into prostaglandins. Recent studies have shown the existence of two isoforms of cyclooxygenase: COX-1, now often referred to as the constitutive form, and COX-2, an inducible form which is the major isoenzyme involved in prostaglandin synthesis in inflammation and other pathological situations. Since inhibition of prostaglandin production in tissues where they play a physiological role leads to important side effects, a COX-2 preferential inhibitor would present therapeutical advantages. In the present study, we evaluated the inhibitory properties of cyclooxygenase inhibitors on human COX-1 and COX-2 using a heterologous expression system. We investigated instantaneous inhibition and pre-incubation inhibition as well as time recovery of cyclooxygenase activity assays with the aid of four NSAIDs: mefenamic acid, indomethacin, aspirin and NS-398. Our results demonstrate that instantaneous inhibition assays have little correlation with clinical results. Inhibition assays using pre-incubation with the drugs tested, however, more closely resemble the data from in vivo studies. Cyclooxygenase recovery assays enabled better characterization of simple competitive inhibitors, competitive reversible time-dependent inhibitors and irreversible time-dependent inhibitors. The data illustrate the usefulness of our system in allowing a better determination of the pharmacological characteristics of NSAIDs as well as permitting a comparison among different drugs.