Paracrine up-regulation of monocyte cyclooxygenase-2 by platelets: Role of transforming growth factor-β1

Sonia Eligini, Silvia S. Barbieri, Izaskun Arenaz, Elena Tremoli, Susanna Colli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To examine the role of platelets and platelet-derived products on cyclooxygenase-2 (Cox-2) induction in adherent monocytes and to address the signaling pathways involved. Methods: Platelets and monocytes were obtained from peripheral blood of healthy donors. Adherent monocytes were co-cultured with autologous platelets or platelet releasates or exposed to mediators contained in platelet α-granules (either from platelet source or recombinant) for 4-24 h. Cox-2 protein and mRNA were determined by Western and RT-PCR analysis, respectively. Thromboxane B2 (TxB2) and prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) synthesis as index of Cox-2 activity, and levels of transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1) in platelet releasates were measured by enzyme immunoassay (EIA). Results: Activated platelets induce rapid and transient Cox-2 de novo synthesis in adherent monocytes. The effect is dependent upon the platelet number but not upon cell-cell contact. Platelet-induced Cox-2 was not affected by prevention of platelet TxA2 synthesis or microparticle formation but was blunted by inhibition of platelet α-granule secretion. TGF-β1, either platelet-derived or recombinant (rTGF-β1), induced Cox-2 expression and activity in adherent monocytes at concentrations within the range of those detected in releasates from activated platelets; this effect was not shared by recombinant platelet-derived growth factor (rPDGFBB). The time course of Cox-2 induction by TGF-β1 in monocytes was identical to that observed with platelet releasates. Moreover, TGF-β1 receptor blockade completely abolished platelet-induced Cox-2 expression. p38 MAPK activation represents a common transduction pathway through which activated platelets and rTGF-β1 induce Cox-2 in monocytes. Conclusion: These findings suggest that TGF-β1 released by activated platelets has a pivotal role in Cox-2 induction in monocytes and further supports the key role of platelets in the inflammatory and reparative responses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)270-278
Number of pages9
JournalCardiovascular Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - May 1 2007


  • Cyclooxygenase
  • Growth factors
  • MAP-kinase
  • Monocytes
  • Platelets

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Paracrine up-regulation of monocyte cyclooxygenase-2 by platelets: Role of transforming growth factor-β1'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this