Mechanism of Action

As previously discussed, the COX-2 inhibitors have selectivity for inhibition of the COX-2 enzyme, which has low constitutive activity but is highly inducible at sites of tissue injury. In addition to the peripheral role of COX-2 in inflammation, COX-2 may play an important role in the CNS. COX-2 is expressed constitutively in some excitatory neurons in the brain and spinal cord and is induced in traumatic brain injury such as that induced by ischemia and seizures. It has been hypothesized that COX-2 may also be involved in neurodegen-erative diseases, since COX-2 inhibitors have shown some positive effects in Alzheimer's disease. Thus, the mechanism of action of COX-2 inhibitors may involve brain and spinal cord sites as well as local sites of injury.

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