Cyclo-oxygenase-1 and cyclo-oxygenase-2 and cardiovascular system

M. Lettino, F. Cantú, M. Mariani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Prostaglandins play important roles in the pathophysiological mechanism of action of platelets and endothelial cells in the cardiovascular system. The two isoforms of cyclo-oxygenase, respectively cyclo-oxygenase-1 and cyclo-oxygenase-2, are differently expressed in these cells. Activated platelets show a relatively large amount of cyclo-oxygenase-1, whereas endothelial cells have the gene for cyclo-oxygenase-2, the expression of which follows cell activation. In the atherosclerosis lesion, prostaglandin synthesis is mainly mediated by the inducible cyclo-oxygenase-2 expressed in macrophages/foam cells, smooth muscle cells and endothelial cells. Aspirin, a selective platelet cyclo-oxygenase-1 inhibitor, still remains the most extensively studied antiplatelet agent, even though there is growing evidence that many other compounds could be valuable either in association, or alternatives in antithrombotic therapy.

Original languageEnglish
JournalDigestive and Liver Disease
Issue numberSUPPL. 2
Publication statusPublished - 2001


  • Aspirin
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Cyclo-oxygenase
  • Endothelial cells
  • Platelets
  • Prostaglandin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology

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