Rofecoxib impairs adipose tissue development in a murine model of nutritionally induced obesity

Thromb Haemost. 2008 Aug;100(2):338-42.


The effect of rofecoxib (Vioxx), a cyclooxygenase (COX)-2 inhibitor, on adipose tissue development was studied in a murine model of diet-induced obesity. Oral administration of Vioxx for six weeks (34 mg/kg/day) to C57Bl/6 mice kept on high-fat diet (n = 19) resulted in a significant reduction in total body weight (p < 0.01) and of subcutaneous (p < 0.05) and gonadal (p < 0.01) adipose tissue mass, as compared to placebo-treated animals (n = 21). There was no significant difference in food intake between both groups (2.8 +/- 0.09 vs. 3.0 +/- 0.10 g/day; p = 0.20). Administration of Vioxx resulted in reduced total cholesterol and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol levels (p < 0.0001) and in enhanced levels of liver enzymes, as compared to place-bo. In the gonadal but not in the subcutaneous adipose tissue, adipocytes were smaller after Vioxx treatment (p < 0.05). The macrophage content was significantly lower in gonadal adipose tissues of Vioxx-treated mice (p < 0.05), but not in the subcutaneous adipose tissues. This was, however, not associated with differences in adipose tissue levels of the pro-inflammatory tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha. Blood vessel size or density in either fat pad were not affected by Vioxx treatment. Thus, in a nutritionally induced murine obesity model, oral administration of Vioxx, as compared to placebo, resulted in reduced adipose tissue development, associated with lower feeding efficiency and smaller adipocytes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue / immunology
  • Adipose Tissue / pathology*
  • Animals
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Cyclooxygenase 2 Inhibitors / pharmacology*
  • Dietary Fats / pharmacology
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Feeding Behavior
  • Inflammation / drug therapy
  • Inflammation / immunology
  • Inflammation / pathology
  • Lactones / pharmacology*
  • Macrophages / drug effects
  • Macrophages / immunology
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Obesity / drug therapy*
  • Obesity / immunology*
  • Obesity / pathology
  • Sulfones / pharmacology*


  • Blood Glucose
  • Cyclooxygenase 2 Inhibitors
  • Dietary Fats
  • Lactones
  • Sulfones
  • rofecoxib