Roles of COX-2 and iNOS in the bony repair of the injured growth plate cartilage

G. Arasapam, Michaela Scherer, J. C. Cool, B. K. Foster, C. J. Xian

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68 Citations (Scopus)


Growth plate injuries often lead to bone growth defects, which primarily occur due to bony repair at injury sites. Bony repair is preceded by an injury-induced inflammatory response, which could play a role in regulating the repair process. Here, roles of two inflammatory mediators, cyclo-oxygenase 2 (COX-2) and inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS), in the injury responses were analysed by examining their gene expression and effects of blocking their activities, respectively, with celecoxib and aminoguanidine during 2 days prior to and until 7 days after injury in a rat tibial growth plate injury model. Quantitative RT-PCR assays revealed upregulated expression of COX-2 on days 1 and 4 and iNOS on day 1. Histological analysis of injury sites revealed significant reductions in inflammatory infiltrate (particularly neutrophils) on day 1 in treated groups compared to saline control. While bony tissue proportions at injury sites were unaffected by either treatment, mesenchymal tissue proportions were larger but cartilaginous tissue proportions were smaller on day 8 (though statistically insignificant), and bone remodelling appeared delayed with a smaller bone marrow proportion on day 14 in both treatment groups. These findings suggest that COX-2 and iNOS mediate injury-induced inflammatory response, and may play a role in enhancing mesenchymal cell differentiation to cartilaginous cells and in promoting bone remodelling during bony repair of growth plate injury sites. Furthermore, increased expression of cartilage-related (collagen-2, collagen-10, SOX-9) and bone-related molecules (osteocalcin, cbfα-1) suggest involvement of both endochondral and direct bone formation mechanisms during bony repair.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)450-461
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Cellular Biochemistry
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished or Issued - 1 Oct 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Bone bridge
  • COX-2
  • Growth plate
  • Inflammatory response
  • iNOS

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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