Prostaglandins (PGs) generated by the enzyme cyclooxygenase (COX) have been implicated in the pathological renal hemodynamics and structural alterations in diabetes mellitus, but the role of individual COX isoenzymes in diabetic nephropathy remains unknown. We explored COX-1 and COX-2 expression and hemodynamic responses to the COX-1 inhibitor valeryl salicylate (VS) or the COX-2 inhibitor NS398 in moderately hyperglycemic, streptozotocin-diabetic (D) and control (C) rats. Immunoreactive COX-2 was increased in D rats compared with C rats and normalized by improved glycemic control. Acute systemic administration of NS398 induced no significant changes in mean arterial pressure and renal plasma flow in either C or D rats but reduced glomerular filtration rate in D rats, resulting in a decrease in filtration fraction. VS had no effect on renal hemodynamics in D rats. Both inhibitors decreased urinary excretion of PGE2. However, only NS398 reduced excretion of thromboxane A2. In conclusion, we documented an increase in renal cortical COX-2 protein expression associated with a different renal hemodynamic response to selective systemic COX-2 inhibition in D as compared with C animals, indicating a role of COX-2-derived PG in pathological renal hemodynamic changes in diabetes.
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