Objective—To evaluate cyclooxygenase isozyme distribution in tissues from dogs and determine the differential sensitivity of canine cyclooxygenase (COX)-1 and -2 isozymes to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
Sample Population—Canine tissue samples (stomach, duodenum, ileum, jejunum, colon, spleen, cerebral cortex, lung, ovary, kidney, and liver) were obtained from 2 dogs for northern and western blot analyses, and blood for whole blood COX assays was obtained from 15 dogs.
Procedure—11 NSAIDs were evaluated to determine their COX-2 selectivity in whole blood assays. The concentrations of the drug needed to inhibit 50% of enzyme activity (IC50) were then calculated for comparison. Expression and tissue distribution of COX isozymes were determined by northern and western blot analysis.
Results—Aspirin, diclofenac, indomethacin, ketoprofen, meclofenamic acid, and piroxicam had little selectivity toward COX isozymes, whereas NS398, carprofen, tolfenamic acid, nimesulide, and etodolac had more than 5 times greater preference for inhibiting COX-2 than COX-1. All canine tissues examined, including those from the gastrointestinal tract, coexpressed COX-1 and -2 mRNA, although protein expression was observed only for COX-1.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Canine COX-2 was selectively inhibited by etodolac, nimesulide, and NS398; tolfenamic acid and carprofen also appeared to be preferential COX-2 inhibitors in dogs. The roles of COX-1 as a constitutive housekeeping enzyme and COX-2 as a proinflammatory inducible enzyme (as determined in humans) appear to apply to dogs; therefore, COX-2-selective inhibitors should prove useful in reducing the adverse effects associated with nonselective NSAIDs. (Am J Vet Res 2004;65:810–818)