Though NSAIDs often cause ulcers in the duodenum in humans, the role of cyclooxygenase (COX) isoforms in the pathogenesis of duodenal ulcers has not been fully elucidated. We examined in cats the (1) ulcerogenic effects of selective COX-1 (SC-560, ketorolac) and COX-2 (celecoxib, meloxicam) inhibitors on the gastrointestinal mucosa, (2) effect of feeding and cimetidine on the expression of COX isoforms and PGE2 level in the duodenum, and (3) localization of COX isoforms in the duodenum. COX inhibitors were administered after the morning meal in cats once daily for 3 days. Gastrointestinal lesions were examined on day 4. Localization and expression of COX isoforms (by immunohistochemistry, western blot) and PGE2 level (by EIA) were examined. Results were as follows. (1) Selective COX-1 or COX-2 inhibitors alone produced marked ulcers in the duodenum but did not cause obvious lesions in the small intestine. Co-administration of SC-560 and celecoxib produced marked lesions in the small intestine. (2) Feeding increased both the expression of COX isoforms and PGE2 level in the duodenum, and the effects were markedly inhibited by pretreatment with cimetidine. (3) COX-1 was localized in goblet and Brunner's gland cells, Meissner's and Auerbach's plexus, smooth muscle cells, and arterioles; and COX-2 was observed in capillaries, venules and basal granulated cells. The expression of COX isoforms in the duodenum is up-regulated by feeding, and inhibition of either COX-1 or COX-2 causes ulcers in the duodenum, suggesting that both isoforms play an important role in the protection of the duodenal mucosa.
- Received August 8, 2012.
- Revision received September 17, 2012.
- Accepted September 21, 2012.
- The American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics