Expression of cyclooxygenase isoforms in the rat spinal cord and their regulation during adjuvant-induced arthritis

Inflamm Res. 1998 Dec;47(12):482-7. doi: 10.1007/s000110050362.


Objective and design: Spinal regulation of cyclooxygenase (COX) isoforms was investigated in the animal model of peripheral inflammation induced by injection of complete Freund's-type adjuvant (CFA) in the rat hindpaw.

Subjects and treatment: Peripheral inflammation was induced by intraplantar injection of CFA in one hind footpad of male Sprague Dawley rats (n = 3 per time point).

Methods: Spinal cord was removed after different times (3 h to 22 d). mRNA and protein were isolated and analyzed by comparative reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and Western blot analysis, respectively.

Results: Under the acute inflammatory stimulus 6h after CFA application, RT-PCR revealed a twofold increase in COX-2 mRNA that reached baseline again at day 3. This transient increase occurred in the lumbar spinal cord, but changes in COX-2 mRNA expression were also registered in RNA preparations from cervical sections, spinal COX-2 induction thus not being a spatially confirmed phenomenon. Western blot analysis of spinal membrane preparations reflected the transient COX-2 mRNA induction at protein levels. During the chronic phase of arthritis at day 22, COX-2 levels were again raised significantly (1.6 fold) over baseline. Spinal levels of COX-1 were not altered at any time point of the peripheral inflammation.

Conclusion: These data imply a regulatory role for COX-2 but not COX-1 in the spinal modulation under acute and chronic peripheral inflammation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Arthritis, Experimental / enzymology*
  • Blotting, Western
  • Cyclooxygenase 1
  • Cyclooxygenase 2
  • Edema / enzymology
  • Edema / immunology
  • Freund's Adjuvant
  • Gene Expression Regulation*
  • Isoenzymes / analysis
  • Isoenzymes / genetics*
  • Lumbosacral Region
  • Male
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Microsomes / enzymology
  • Nuclear Envelope / enzymology
  • Prostaglandin-Endoperoxide Synthases / analysis
  • Prostaglandin-Endoperoxide Synthases / genetics*
  • RNA, Messenger / analysis
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Spinal Cord / enzymology*
  • Spinal Cord / ultrastructure


  • Isoenzymes
  • Membrane Proteins
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Freund's Adjuvant
  • Cyclooxygenase 1
  • Cyclooxygenase 2
  • Prostaglandin-Endoperoxide Synthases
  • Ptgs1 protein, rat