To better define the role of the various prostanoid synthases in the adjuvant-induced arthritis (AIA) model, we have determined the temporal expression of the inducible PGE synthase (mPGES-1), mPGES-2, the cytosolic PGES (cPGES/p23), and prostacyclin synthase, and compared with that of cyclooxygenase-1 (COX-1) and COX-2. The profile of induction of mPGES-1 (50- to 80-fold) in the primary paw was similar to that of COX-2 by both RNA and protein analysis. Quantitative PCR analysis indicated that induction of mPGES-1 at day 15 was within 2-fold that of COX-2. Increased PGES activity was measurable in membrane preparations of inflamed paws, and the activity was inhibitable by MK-886 to >or=90% with a potency similar to that of recombinant rat mPGES-1 (IC(50) = 2.4 microM). The RNA of the newly described mPGES-2 decreased by 2- to 3-fold in primary paws between days 1 and 15 postadjuvant. The cPGES/p23 and COX-1 were induced during AIA, but at much lower levels (2- to 6-fold) than mPGES-1, with the peak of cPGES/p23 expression occurring later than that of COX-2 and PGE(2) production. Prostacyclin (measured as 6-keto-PGF(1alpha)) was transiently elevated on day 1, and prostacyclin synthase was down-regulated at the RNA level after day 3, suggesting a diminished role of prostacyclin during the maintenance of chronic inflammation in the rat AIA. These results show that mPGES-1 is up-regulated throughout the development of AIA and suggest that it plays a major role in the elevated production of PGE(2) in this model.
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