COX2 Inhibition Reduces Aortic Valve Calcification In Vivo
Objective—Calcific aortic valve (AoV) disease is a significant cause of morbidity and mortality, which affects ≈1% of the US population and is characterized by calcific nodule formation and stenosis of the valve. Klotho-deficient mice were used to study the molecular mechanisms of calcific AoV disease as they develop robust AoV calcification. Through microarray analysis of AoV tissues from klotho-deficient and wild-type mice, increased expression of the gene encoding cyclooxygenase 2 (COX2; Ptgs2) was found. COX2 activity contributes to bone differentiation and homeostasis, thus the contribution of COX2 activity to AoV calcification was assessed.
Approach and Results—In klotho-deficient mice, COX2 expression is increased throughout regions of valve calcification and is induced in the valvular interstitial cells before calcification formation. Similarly, COX2 expression is increased in human diseased AoVs. Treatment of cultured porcine aortic valvular interstitial cells with osteogenic media induces bone marker gene expression and calcification in vitro, which is blocked by inhibition of COX2 activity. In vivo, genetic loss of function of COX2 cyclooxygenase activity partially rescues AoV calcification in klotho-deficient mice. Moreover, pharmacological inhibition of COX2 activity in klotho-deficient mice via celecoxib-containing diet reduces AoV calcification and blocks osteogenic gene expression.
Conclusions—COX2 expression is upregulated in calcific AoV disease, and its activity contributes to osteogenic gene induction and valve calcification in vitro and in vivo.
- Received April 22, 2014.
- Accepted February 18, 2015.
- © 2015 American Heart Association, Inc.