Cyclooxygenase 1 and cyclooxygenase 2 expression is abnormally regulated in human nasal polyps

J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2002 May;109(5):824-30. doi: 10.1067/mai.2002.123534.


Background: There is evidence that impairment of prostanoid metabolism might be involved in the pathogenesis of nasal polyps (NPs). Prostanoids are synthesized by 2 cyclooxygenase (Cox) enzymes, one constitutive (Cox-1) and another inducible (Cox-2).

Objective: The aim of these studies was to investigate Cox-1 and Cox-2 regulation in NPs of aspirin-tolerant human patients compared with that seen in nasal mucosa (NM).

Methods: Cultured explants from human NPs and healthy mucosa from patients undergoing polypectomy and corrective nasal surgery, respectively, were examined for Cox-1 and Cox-2 expression by means of semiquantitative competitive PCR and Western blotting.

Results: Cox-1 mRNA was spontaneously upregulated in cultured NM but not in NPs. A spontaneous but delayed upregulation of Cox-2 mRNA was found in NPs (24 hours) compared with that seen in NM (6 hours). After cytokine stimulation (IFN-gamma, IL-1beta, and TNF-alpha), the induction of Cox-2 mRNA and protein was also faster in NM (1 hour) than in NPs (4 hours).

Conclusion: These data showing an abnormal regulation of Cox-1 and Cox-2 in NPs from aspirin-tolerant patients reinforce the concept that prostanoid metabolism might be important in the pathogenesis of inflammatory nasal diseases and suggest a potential role for this alteration in the formation of NPs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Culture Techniques
  • Cyclooxygenase 1
  • Cyclooxygenase 2
  • Humans
  • Interferon-gamma / pharmacology
  • Interleukin-1 / pharmacology
  • Isoenzymes / genetics
  • Isoenzymes / metabolism*
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Middle Aged
  • Nasal Mucosa / enzymology
  • Nasal Polyps / enzymology*
  • Nasal Polyps / metabolism
  • Prostaglandin-Endoperoxide Synthases / genetics
  • Prostaglandin-Endoperoxide Synthases / metabolism*
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Reference Values
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / pharmacology


  • Interleukin-1
  • Isoenzymes
  • Membrane Proteins
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • Interferon-gamma
  • Cyclooxygenase 1
  • Cyclooxygenase 2
  • PTGS1 protein, human
  • PTGS2 protein, human
  • Prostaglandin-Endoperoxide Synthases