Increased levels of cyclooxygenase-2 mRNA in the rat spinal cord after peripheral inflammation: an in situ hybridization study

Neuroreport. 1997 Sep 8;8(13):2949-52. doi: 10.1097/00001756-199709080-00028.


Cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) is considered to play a major role in inflammation processes by catalyzing the production of prostaglandins (PGs). Using in situ hybridization histochemistry we studied the localization of COS-1 and COX-2 mRNA in the spinal cord and dorsal root ganglia (DRGs) after peripheral inflammation or after axotomy in the rat. No COX-2 mRNA signals were detected in the spinal cord under normal conditions, but strong expression was seen bilaterally in non-neuronal cells within the grey and white matter and along the leptomeninges and blood vessels 6 h after unilateral carrageenan injection into the hind paw, but not after peripheral nerve injury. The results suggest that COX-2 expressed in non-neuronal cells contributes to PG production in and around the spinal cord under peripheral inflammatory processes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Axotomy
  • Carrageenan
  • Cyclooxygenase 2
  • Ganglia, Spinal / metabolism*
  • Hindlimb
  • Histocytochemistry / methods
  • In Situ Hybridization
  • Inflammation / chemically induced
  • Inflammation / metabolism
  • Injections
  • Isoenzymes / genetics*
  • Lumbosacral Region
  • Male
  • Prostaglandin-Endoperoxide Synthases / genetics*
  • RNA, Messenger / biosynthesis*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Sciatic Nerve / injuries
  • Spinal Cord / metabolism*


  • Isoenzymes
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Carrageenan
  • Cyclooxygenase 2
  • Prostaglandin-Endoperoxide Synthases