Mechano-transcription of COX-2 is a common response to lumen dilation of the rat gastrointestinal tract

Y. M. Lin, F. Li, X. Z. Shi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Background In obstructive bowel disorders (OBDs) such as achalasia, pyloric stenosis, and bowel obstruction, the lumen of the affected segments is markedly dilated and the motility function is significantly impaired. We tested the hypothesis that mechanical stress in lumen dilation leads to induction of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) in smooth muscle throughout the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, contributing to motility dysfunction. Methods Lumen dilation was induced in vivo with obstruction bands (12×3mm) applied over the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), the pyloric sphincter, and the ileum in rats for 48h. Mechanical stretch in vivo was also emulated by balloon distension of the distal colon. Direct stretch of muscle strips from the esophagus, gastric fundus, and ileum was mimicked in an in vitro tissue culture system. Key Results Partial obstruction in the LES, pylorus, and ileum significantly increased the expression of COX-2 mRNA and protein in the muscularis externae of the dilated segment oral to the occlusions, but not in the aboral segment. Direct stretch of the lumen in vivo or of muscle strips in vitro markedly induced COX-2 expression. The smooth muscle contractility was significantly suppressed in the balloon-distended segments. However, treatment with COX-2 inhibitor NS-398 restored the contractility. Furthermore, in vivo administration of NS-398 in gastric outlet obstruction significantly improved gastric emptying. Conclusions & Inferences Mechanical dilation of the gut lumen by occlusion or direct distension induces gene expression of COX-2 throughout the GI tract. Mechanical stress-induced COX-2 contributes to motility dysfunction in conditions with lumen dilation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)670-e296
JournalNeurogastroenterology and Motility
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2012


  • COX-2
  • Lumen dilation
  • Mechanical stress
  • Motility
  • Obstruction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Gastroenterology


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