Up-regulation of endothelial cyclooxygenase-2 and prostanoid synthesis by platelets. Role of thromboxane A2

Gillian E. Caughey, Leslie G. Cleland, Jennifer R. Gamble, Michael J. James

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81 Citations (Scopus)


Platelet-vascular endothelial cell interactions are central to the maintenance of vascular homeostasis. Thromboxane A2 (TXA 2) and prostacyclin (prostaglandin (PG) I2) are the major products of cyclooxygenase (COX) metabolism by platelets and the vascular endothelium, respectively. Here we report the effects of platelet-endothelial interactions on human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) COX-2 expression and prostanoid synthesis. Co-incubation of platelets with HUVECs resulted in a dose-dependent induction in COX-2 expression. This was accompanied by a relatively small increase in thromboxane B2 synthesis (2 ng) by comparison to the production of 6-keto-PGF and PGE2, which increased by ∼14 and 12 ng, respectively. Abrogation of platelet-HUVEC interactions excluded direct cell-cell contact as a required event. Preincubation of HUVECs with SQ29548, a TXA2 receptor antagonist, dose-dependently inhibited platelet-induced COX-2 expression and prostanoid synthesis. Similarly, if platelet TXA2 synthesis was inhibited no induction of COX-2 was observed. Furthermore, a TXA2 analog, carbocyclic TXA2, induced HUVEC COX-2 expression and the synthesis of 6-keto-PGF and PGE2. This was also associated with an increase in the expression and activity of PGI synthase and PGE synthase but not TX synthase. Platelet co-incubation (or TXA2) also selectively activated the p44/42 mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway to regulate HUVEC COX-2 expression. Thus it seems that platelet-derived TXA2 can act in a paracrine manner to up-regulate endothelial COX-2 expression and PGI 2 synthesis. These observations are of particular importance given the recent observations regarding selective COX-2 inhibitors and the suppression of PGI2 synthesis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37839-37845
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number41
Publication statusPublished or Issued - 12 Oct 2001
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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