Cyclooxygenase inhibition attenuates brain angiogenesis and independently decreases mouse survival under hypoxia

Drew R. Seeger, Svetlana A. Golovko, Bryon D. Grove, Mikhail Y. Golovko

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Although cyclooxygenase (COX) role in cancer angiogenesis has been studied, little is known about its role in brain angioplasticity. In the present study, we chronically infused mice with ketorolac, a non-specific COX inhibitor that does not cross the blood–brain barrier (BBB), under normoxia or 50% isobaric hypoxia (10% O2 by volume). Ketorolac increased mortality rate under hypoxia in a dose-dependent manner. Using in vivo multiphoton microscopy, we demonstrated that chronic COX inhibition completely attenuated brain angiogenic response to hypoxia. Alterations in a number of angiogenic factors that were reported to be COX-dependent in other models were assayed at 24-hr and 10-day hypoxia. Intriguingly, hypoxia-inducible factor 1 was unaffected under COX inhibition, and vascular endothelial growth factor receptor type 2 (VEGFR2) and C-X-C chemokine receptor type 4 (CXCR4) were significantly but slightly decreased. However, a number of mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) were significantly reduced upon COX inhibition. We conclude that additional, angiogenic factor-independent mechanism might contribute to COX role in brain angioplasticity, probably including mitogenic COX effect on endothelium. Our data indicate that COX activity is critical for systemic adaptation to chronic hypoxia, and BBB COX is essential for hypoxia-induced brain angioplasticity. These data also indicate a potential risk for using COX inhibitors under hypoxia conditions in clinics. Further studies are required to elucidate a complete mechanism for brain long-term angiogenesis regulation through COX activity. (Figure presented.).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)246-261
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Neurochemistry
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 2021


  • angiogenesis
  • brain
  • cyclooxygenase
  • hypoxia
  • non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
  • prostaglandins

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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