Combined activity of COX-1 and COX-2 is increased in non-neoplastic colonic mucosa from colorectal neoplasia patients

Thorbjørn Søren Rønn Jensen, Badar Mahmood, Morten Bach Damm, Marie Balslev Backe, Mattias Salling Dahllöf, Steen Seier Poulsen, Mark Berner Hansen, Niels Bindslev

13 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: Cyclooxygenase (COX) activity is increased in endoscopic normal colonic mucosa from patients with colorectal neoplasia (CRN). COX-2 is thought to be the predominant COX isozyme involved in neoplasia. Meanwhile, relative contributions of COX-1 and COX-2 isoforms are unknown. Knowledge about their mutual activity in colonic mucosa is important for diagnostics and targeted therapy for CRN. The aim of this study was to assess the relative function, expression and localization of COX-1 and COX-2 enzymes in colonic non-neoplastic human mucosa and thereby to potentially reveal a mucosal disease predisposition for better treatment.

METHODS: Biopsies were pinched from normal appearing colonic mucosa in patients undergoing endoscopy. Ussing chamber technique was applied for an indirect assessment of epithelial activity, RT-qPCR for expression and immunohistochemistry for localization of COX-1 and COX-2 enzymes in patients without (ctrls) and with a history of CRN (CRN-pts).

RESULTS: Combined COX-1 and COX-2 activity was higher in CRN-pts, p = 0.036. COX-2 was primarily localized in absorptive cells, while COX-1 appeared to be restricted to nonenteroendocrine tuft cells of the colonic epithelium.

CONCLUSIONS: In biopsies from endoscopic normal appearing colonic mucosa, combined activity of COX-1 and COX-2 enzymes is increased in CRN-pts compared with ctrls. This indicates that COX-1 and COX-2 together contribute to an increased proliferation process. Of note, in colonic epithelial cell lining, the COX-1 enzyme seems localized in tuft cells.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBMC Gastroenterology
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)31
Publication statusPublished - 27 Feb 2018


  • Aged
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal/therapeutic use
  • Aspirin/therapeutic use
  • Biopsy
  • Colon/enzymology
  • Colorectal Neoplasms/enzymology
  • Cyclooxygenase 1/metabolism
  • Cyclooxygenase 2/metabolism
  • Dinoprostone/metabolism
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intestinal Mucosa/enzymology
  • Isoenzymes/metabolism
  • Male
  • Middle Aged


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