Calcific aortic valve disease (CAVD) is the result of maladaptive fibrocalcific processes leading to a progressive thickening and stiffening of aortic valve (AV) leaflets. CAVD is the most common cause of aortic stenosis (AS). At present, there is no effective pharmacotherapy in reducing CAVD progression; when CAVD becomes symptomatic it can only be treated with valve replacement. Inflammation has a key role in AV pathological remodeling; hence, anti-inflammatory therapy has been proposed as a strategy to prevent CAVD. Cyclooxygenase 2 (COX-2) is a key mediator of the inflammation and it is the target of widely used anti-inflammatory drugs. COX-2-inhibitor celecoxib was initially shown to reduce AV calcification in a murine model. However, in contrast to these findings, a recent retrospective clinical analysis found an association between AS and celecoxib use. In the present study, we investigated whether variations in COX-2 expression levels in human AVs may be linked to CAVD. We extracted total RNA from surgically explanted AVs from patients without CAVD or with CAVD. We found that COX-2 mRNA was higher in non-calcific AVs compared to calcific AVs (0.013 ± 0.002 vs. 0.006 ± 0.0004; p < 0.0001). Moreover, we isolated human aortic valve interstitial cells (AVICs) from AVs and found that COX-2 expression is decreased in AVICs from calcific valves compared to AVICs from non-calcific AVs. Furthermore, we observed that COX-2 inhibition with celecoxib induces AVICs trans-differentiation towards a myofibroblast phenotype, and increases the levels of TGF-β-induced apoptosis, both processes able to promote the formation of calcific nodules. We conclude that reduced COX-2 expression is a characteristic of human AVICs prone to calcification and that COX-2 inhibition may promote aortic valve calcification. Our findings support the notion that celecoxib may facilitate CAVD progression.

COX-2 is downregulated in human stenotic aortic valves and its inhibition promotes dystrophic calcification

Vieceli Dalla Sega, F.
Co-primo
;
Fortini, F.
Co-primo
;
Cimaglia, P.;Marracino, L.;Tonet, E.;Antonucci, A.;Campo, G.;Rizzo, P.
;
Ferrari, R.
2020

Abstract

Calcific aortic valve disease (CAVD) is the result of maladaptive fibrocalcific processes leading to a progressive thickening and stiffening of aortic valve (AV) leaflets. CAVD is the most common cause of aortic stenosis (AS). At present, there is no effective pharmacotherapy in reducing CAVD progression; when CAVD becomes symptomatic it can only be treated with valve replacement. Inflammation has a key role in AV pathological remodeling; hence, anti-inflammatory therapy has been proposed as a strategy to prevent CAVD. Cyclooxygenase 2 (COX-2) is a key mediator of the inflammation and it is the target of widely used anti-inflammatory drugs. COX-2-inhibitor celecoxib was initially shown to reduce AV calcification in a murine model. However, in contrast to these findings, a recent retrospective clinical analysis found an association between AS and celecoxib use. In the present study, we investigated whether variations in COX-2 expression levels in human AVs may be linked to CAVD. We extracted total RNA from surgically explanted AVs from patients without CAVD or with CAVD. We found that COX-2 mRNA was higher in non-calcific AVs compared to calcific AVs (0.013 ± 0.002 vs. 0.006 ± 0.0004; p < 0.0001). Moreover, we isolated human aortic valve interstitial cells (AVICs) from AVs and found that COX-2 expression is decreased in AVICs from calcific valves compared to AVICs from non-calcific AVs. Furthermore, we observed that COX-2 inhibition with celecoxib induces AVICs trans-differentiation towards a myofibroblast phenotype, and increases the levels of TGF-β-induced apoptosis, both processes able to promote the formation of calcific nodules. We conclude that reduced COX-2 expression is a characteristic of human AVICs prone to calcification and that COX-2 inhibition may promote aortic valve calcification. Our findings support the notion that celecoxib may facilitate CAVD progression.
Vieceli Dalla Sega, F.; Fortini, F.; Cimaglia, P.; Marracino, L.; Tonet, E.; Antonucci, A.; Moscarelli, M.; Campo, G.; Rizzo, P.; Ferrari, R.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11392/2436100
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