Background: Cardiovascular side effects associated with cyclooxygenase-2 inhibitor drugs dominate clinical concern. Cyclooxygenase-2 is expressed in the renal medulla where inhibition causes fluid retention and increased blood pressure. However, the mechanisms linking cyclooxygenase-2 inhibition and cardiovascular events are unknown and no biomarkers have been identified.
Methods and results: Transcriptome analysis of wild-type and cyclooxygenase-2(-/-) mouse tissues revealed 1 gene altered in the heart and aorta, but >1000 genes altered in the renal medulla, including those regulating the endogenous nitric oxide synthase inhibitors asymmetrical dimethylarginine (ADMA) and monomethyl-l-arginine. Cyclo-oxygenase-2(-/-) mice had increased plasma levels of ADMA and monomethyl-l-arginine and reduced endothelial nitric oxide responses. These genes and methylarginines were not similarly altered in mice lacking prostacyclin receptors. Wild-type mice or human volunteers taking cyclooxygenase-2 inhibitors also showed increased plasma ADMA. Endothelial nitric oxide is cardio-protective, reducing thrombosis and atherosclerosis. Consequently, increased ADMA is associated with cardiovascular disease. Thus, our study identifies ADMA as a biomarker and mechanistic bridge between renal cyclooxygenase-2 inhibition and systemic vascular dysfunction with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug usage.
Conclusions: We identify the endogenous endothelial nitric oxide synthase inhibitor ADMA as a biomarker and mechanistic bridge between renal cyclooxygenase-2 inhibition and systemic vascular dysfunction.
Keywords: endothelium; kidney; nitric oxide; pharmacology; prostaglandins.
© 2014 The Authors.