The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of cyclic strain on cyclooxygenase (COX)-1 and 2 expression in bovine aortic endothelial cells (EC). EC, subjected to 10% average strain at 60 cycle/min, were analyzed for induction of COX by Northern blot analysis and confirmed by analysis of promoter activity in transient transfection experiments. Exposure of EC to cyclic strain induced promoter activity and expression of COX-2 but not of COX-1. The extent of induction, however, was lower than that seen with stimulation of 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA) and/or lipopolysaccharide (LPS). These results demonstrate that, unlike shear stress, cyclic strain does not affect COX-1 expression and is a weak inducer of COX-2 promoter activity in bovine aortic EC with minimal effect on mRNA expression.