OBJECTIVE To characterize the distribution and intensity of cyclooxygenase (COX)-2 expression in the eyes of cats with and without uveitis and to determine whether COX-2 expression is correlated with severity of inflammation.
SAMPLES Archived ocular tissue specimens from 51 cats with and 10 cats without ocular disease.
PROCEDURES Specimens from only 1 eye were evaluated for each cat. Specimens were stained with H&E stain or immunohistochemical stain for detection of COX-2 and reviewed. For each eye, the type, severity, and distribution of inflammation and the distribution and intensity of COX-2 expression were determined for the uvea and other ocular tissues. Correlation between COX-2 expression and inflammation severity was also assessed.
RESULTS COX-2 was not expressed in any nondiseased eye. Of the 51 diseased eyes, 20 had histologic evidence of lymphocytic-plasmacytic uveitis, 13 had neutrophilic uveitis, 11 had diffuse iris melanoma with uveitis, and 7 had diffuse iris melanoma without uveitis. Of the 44 eyes with uveitis, COX-2 was detected in the uvea of 16, including 11 eyes with lymphocytic-plasmacytic uveitis, 4 with neutrophilic uveitis, and 1 with diffuse iris melanoma–induced uveitis. Inflammation was severe, moderate, or mild in 10, 5, and 1 of those eyes, respectively. Cyclooxygenase-2 was detected in the cornea of 21 eyes with uveitis and 1 eye with diffuse iris melanoma without uveitis. Uveitis severity was positively correlated with COX-2 expression in both the uvea and cornea.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Results suggested that COX-2 is an inflammatory mediator in feline uveitis but not diffuse iris melanoma.