Cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) is known to be upregulated in ischemic rodent brains, but only little information is available for the human brain. Using immunohistochemistry for COX-2, we investigated brains from control subjects and from patients with cerebrovascular diseases. COX-2 was markedly up-regulated in the neurons and endothelial cells in acute cerebral infarction, but was detected sparsely at chronic stages in these cellular compartments. In contrast, COX-2 immunoreactivity in glial cells was localized to the perinuclear region even in control brains. This immunolabeling was more intense and occurred also in the glial cytoplasm in the brains with chronic cerebral ischemia such as Binswanger's disease. Double-labeling immunohistochemistry confirmed that COX-2-immunoreactive glia were mostly microglia. These results indicate that prostanoid synthesis is up-regulated in microglia during chronic cerebral ischemia, and that these cells may be involved in tissue repair or inflammation-mediated cell responses.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine
- Clinical Neurology
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience