The prostaglandin synthesizing enzyme cyclo-oxygenase-2 (COX-2) is up-regulated in the brain of rodents during cerebral ischemia and contributes to ischemic brain injury. This study sought to determine whether COX-2 is also up-regulated in the human brain in the acute stages of cerebral ischemic infarction. Paraffin-embedded sections from patients who died 1-2 days following infarction in the middle cerebral artery territory were processed for COX-2 immunohistochemistry. COX-2 immunoreactivity was observed in infiltrating neutrophils, in vascular cells and in neurons located at the border of the infarct. The data suggest that COX-2 up-regulation is also relevant to cerebral ischemia in humans and raise the possibility that COX-2 reaction products participate in the mechanisms of ischemic injury also in the human brain.
- Prostaglandin H2 synthase