Background: Although cyclooxygenases (COX) and prostaglandin E synthases (PGES) have been implicated in ischemic stroke injury, little is known about their role in intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH)-induced brain damage. This study examines the expression and cellular localization of COX-1, COX-2, microsomal PGES-1 (mPGES-1), mPGES-2, and cytosolic PGES (cPGES) in mice that have undergone hemorrhagic brain injury.
Methods: ICH was induced in C57BL/6 mice by intrastriatal injection of collagenase. Expression and cellular localization of COX-1, COX-2, mPGES-1, mPGES-2, and cPGES were examined by immunofluorescence staining.
Results: In the hemorrhagic brain, COX-1, mPGES-2, and cPGES were expressed constitutively in neurons; COX-1 was also constitutively expressed in microglia. The immunoreactivity of COX-2 was increased in neurons and astrocytes surrounding blood vessels at 5 h and then tended to decrease in neurons and increase in astrocytes at 1 day. At 3 days after ICH, COX-2 was observed primarily in astrocytes but was absent in neurons. Interestingly, the immunoreactivity of mPGES-1 was increased in neurons in the ipsilateral cortex and astrocytes in the ipsilateral striatum at 1 day post-ICH; the immunoreactivity of astrocytic mPGES-1 further increased at 3 days.
Conclusion: Our data suggest that microglial COX-1, neuronal COX-2, and astrocytic COX-2 and mPGES-1 may work sequentially to affect ICH outcomes. These findings have implications for efforts to develop anti-inflammatory strategies that target COX/PGES pathways to reduce ICH-induced secondary brain damage.