We used the techniques of reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction, Western blotting and immunohistochemistry to evaluate the expression of cyclooxygenase (COX)-1 and -2 in brain and peripheral organs of Alzheimer disease (AD) and control cases. We found both COX-1 and COX-2 to be constitutively expressed in all organs tested, i.e., brain, heart, liver, kidney, spleen and intestine. COX-2 was substantially upregulated in affected areas of AD brain and in infarcted areas of human heart. COX-1 was only mildly upregulated in AD brain. Immunohistochemically, COX-2 was strongly expressed in the perinuclear, dendritic and axonal areas of pyramidal neurons, with enhanced staining in AD. These data suggest a special role for COX-2 in neuronal function.
Copyright 1999 Elsevier Science B.V.