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COX-2 drugs may also worsen hypertension and edema

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Public Release: 12-Nov-2015

Vanderbilt University Medical Center study sheds light on side effects of COX-2 drugs

Vanderbilt University Medical Center

It’s been about a decade since the promise of COX-2 inhibitors — drugs that relieve arthritis pain and inflammation without the gastrointestinal side effects of other painkillers — was tempered by the realization that they could cause heart problems in some patients.

Now a team of Vanderbilt University Medical Center scientists led by Ming-Zhi Zhang M.D., M.Sc., and Raymond C. Harris, M.D., are closer to understanding why. They have found that production of prostaglandins by macrophages may play a role, especially in the kidney and the skin.

Their findings, published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, could lead to development of a new, better-targeted class of drugs that relieve pain without causing vascular effects.

Prostaglandins are molecules produced by the cyclooxygenase enzymes — COX-1 and COX-2 — that play a role in inflammation, among other wide-ranging effects. Macrophages, a kind of white blood cells, also are involved in inflammation.

However, prostaglandin production by macrophages also seems to have a protective effect on heart function, by modulating hyper tension and edema — fluid retention — in response to a high-salt diet.

In a study in mice, the Vanderbilt researchers found that when the COX-2 enzyme in macrophages was blocked, and thus prevented from making prostaglandins, hypertension and edema got worse.

As researchers understand this pathway better, the hope is that they will be able to develop new drugs to relieve pain and inflammation without affecting the system that regulates blood pressure and fluid retention. That would be closer to fulfilling the promise of the original COX-2 inhibitors.

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Zhang is assistant professor of Medicine and Cancer Biology. Harris is the Ann and Roscoe R. Robinson Professor of Nephrology and director of the Division of Nephrology.

The research was supported in part by National Institutes of Health grants CA122620, DK038226, DK062794, and DK095785.

About Post Author

Ralph Turchiano

I have a strong affinity for the sciences which led me to create my sites. My compulsion for the past decade has been reviewing literally every peer-reviewed research article. Which can easily be validated by following my posts. To me, science is where the real news is, as it will mold our destiny beyond that of politics or economics. 😉 Please feel free to e-mail: 161803p314159@gmail.com
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2 thoughts on “COX-2 drugs may also worsen hypertension and edema

  1. Not all prostaglandins are inflammatory and vaso-constrictive, but when you block their formation, you block those that are anti-inflammatory and vaso-dialating as well as the inflammatory and constrictive hormones. Prostaglandins made from omega-6 are inflammatory and vaso-constrictive. It is better to reduce the inflammation by reducing your omega-6 and increasing your omega-3. When I did that by following the Oil Change Diet, I was able stop taking NSAIDS and blood pressure medication in just 3 weeks.

  2. Reblogged this on Oil-Change Diet and commented:
    Not all prostaglandins are inflammatory and vaso-constrictive, but when you block their formation, you block those that are anti-inflammatory and vaso-dialating as well as the inflammatory and constrictive hormones. Prostaglandins made from omega-6 are inflammatory and vaso-constrictive. It is better to reduce the inflammation by reducing your omega-6 and increasing your omega-3. When I did that by following the Oil Change Diet, I was able stop taking NSAIDS and blood pressure medication in just 3 weeks.

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