Interaction of a selective cyclooxygenase-2 inhibitor with aspirin and NO-releasing aspirin in the human gastric mucosa
In addition to inhibiting cyclooxygenase (COX)-1-derived prostanoid biosynthesis, aspirin acetylates COX-2, enabling the conversion of arachidonic acid to 15(R)-epi lipoxin A4, or aspirin-triggered lipoxin (ATL). Selective COX-2 inhibitors block ATL formation and exacerbate mucosal injury in rats treated with aspirin. In the present study, we have examined whether inhibition of COX-2 activity in healthy volunteers taking aspirin exacerbates gastric mucosal injury and if such an effect would be prevented by NCX-4016, a NO-releasing derivative of aspirin. Thirty-two volunteers were randomized to receive 2 wk of treatment with NCX-4016 (800 mg twice a day) or aspirin (100 mg once a day) alone or in combination with 200 mg of celecoxib twice a day. Mucosal damage was assessed by endoscopy. The mean mucosal injury score was 5.8 ± 1.8 in subjects treated with aspirin and 2.4 ± 0.7 (P < 0.01 vs. aspirin) in subjects treated with NCX-4016. Administration of celecoxib increased the injury score in volunteers treated with aspirin (9.9 ± 1.9) but not in subjects taking NCX-4016 (1.5 ± 0.8). Aspirin and NCX-4016 caused a comparable suppression of serum thromboxane B2 levels and increased urinary excretion of ATL. Celecoxib inhibited endotoxin-induced prostaglandin E2 generation in whole blood by ≈80% and abolished ATL formation. These findings suggests that (i) aspirin and NCX-4016 trigger ATL formation in humans, (ii) celecoxib inhibits ATL formation and exacerbates the mucosal injury caused by low doses of aspirin, and (iii) the NO-donating moiety of NCX-4016 protects the gastric mucosa even in the presence of suppression of COX-1 and COX-2.