Experimental & molecular medicine

Cyclooxygenase-2 inhibitors modulate skin aging in a catalytic activity-independent manner.

PMID 22771771


It has been proposed that the pro-inflammatory catalytic activity of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) plays a key role in the aging process. However, it remains unclear whether the COX-2 activity is a causal factor for aging and whether COX-2 inhibitors could prevent aging. We here examined the effect of COX-2 inhibitors on aging in the intrinsic skin aging model of hairless mice. We observed that among two selective COX-2 inhibitors and one non-selective COX inhibitor studied, only NS-398 inhibited skin aging, while celecoxib and aspirin accelerated skin aging. In addition, NS-398 reduced the expression of p53 and p16, whereas celecoxib and aspirin enhanced their expression. We also found that the aging-modulating effect of the inhibitors is closely associated with the expression of type I procollagen and caveolin-1. These results suggest that pro-inflammatory catalytic activity of COX-2 is not a causal factor for aging at least in skin and that COX-2 inhibitors might modulate skin aging by regulating the expression of type I procollagen and caveolin-1.