Cyclooxygenase-2 (Cox-2) is expressed predominantly by stromal cells in intestinal adenomas from the Apc(Min/+) mouse model of familial adenomatous polyposis. We investigated the mechanistic basis of stromal cell Cox-2 expression in Apc(Min/+) mouse adenomas, as well as Cox-2 expression and activity in histologically normal (HN) Apc(Min/+) mouse intestine, in order to gain further insights into regulation of Cox-2 as a potential chemoprevention target. Upregulation of Cox-2 in intestinal tumours is not an intrinsic feature of Apc(Min/+) macrophages as bone marrow-derived Apc(Min/+) macrophages did not exhibit an abnormality in Cox-2 expression or activity. Intestinal permeability to lactulose or mannitol was similar in Apc(Min/+) mice and wild-type littermates, implying that macrophage activation by luminal antigen is unlikely to explain stromal cell Cox-2 induction. Moreover, stromal cells exhibited differential expression of Cox-2 and inducible nitric oxide synthase, suggesting 'alternative' (M2) rather than 'classical' (M1) macrophage activation. Flow cytometric sorting of isolated stromal mononuclear cells (SMNCs), on the basis of M-lysozyme and specific macrophage marker expression, demonstrated that macrophages, neutrophils and non-myelomonocytic cells all contributed to lamina propria prostaglandin (PG) E(2) synthesis. However, the majority of PGE(2) synthesis by macrophages was via a Cox-2-dependent pathway compared with predominant Cox-1-derived PGE(2) production by non-myelomonocytic cells. SMNCs from HN Apc(Min/+) intestinal mucosa exhibited similar levels of Cox-2 mRNA and protein, but produced more Cox-2-derived PGE(2) than wild-type cells at 70 days of age. There was an age-dependent decline in PGE(2) synthesis by Apc(Min/+) SMNCs, despite tumour progression. These data suggest that other Cox-2-independent factors also control PGE(2) levels during Apc(Min/+) mouse intestinal tumorigenesis. Regulation of macrophage Cox-2 expression and other steps in PGE(2) synthesis (e.g. PGE synthase) are valid targets for novel chemoprevention strategies that could minimize or avoid systemic COX-2 inhibition.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)