OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to explore the influence of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2)/prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) on fracture healing by activating the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: In this study, 36 adult Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats raised in our laboratory were selected as research objects. The rats were subjected to fracture surgery on the middle part of the right femoral shaft. Subsequently, they were randomly divided into the control group and experimental groups (including experimental group A and experimental group B). Rats in experimental group A were injected with PGE 2 or COX-2 selective inhibitor NS-398, while rats in experimental group B were injected with PGE2 (5 μmol/L). Meanwhile, rats in the control group were injected with the same amount of normal saline. After that, the transcriptional levels of PEG2, COX-2, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and β-catenin in rats of the experimental group A, experimental group B and control group were detected via fluorescence quantitative Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) assay. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and Western blotting were conducted to determine the changes in protein levels of PEG2, COX-2, VEGF and β-catenin in rats of the experimental group A, experimental group B and control group. The expression level of VEGF in bone tissues at fracture ends of rats in the experimental group A, experimental group B and control group was observed through the hematoxylin-eosin (HE) staining. Furthermore, micro-computed tomography (CT) was employed to evaluate callus formation.
RESULTS: The transcriptional and translational levels of COX-2, β-catenin and VEGF in rats of experimental group A treated with COX-2 inhibitors were significantly down-regulated when compared with those of the control group, showing statistically significant differences (p<0.05). However, the levels of these genes were markedly elevated in the experimental group B treated with PGE2 in comparison with those in the control group, and the differences were statistically significant (p<0.05). After 6 weeks, HE staining showed that the expression level of VEGF in rats of the experimental group B was remarkably higher than that of the experimental group A (p<0.05). Micro-CT results revealed that the mean trabecular plate density (MTPD) of rats in the experimental group B (73.29±5.4) was markedly higher than the number of osteoblasts (49.6±3.9) in the experimental group A, showing a statistically significant difference (p<0.05).
CONCLUSIONS: COX-2/PGE2 facilitates fracture healing by activating the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway.
To cite this article
C. Zheng, Y.-X. Qu, B. Wang, P.-F. Shen, J.-D. Xu, Y.-X. Chen
COX-2/PGE2 facilitates fracture healing by activating the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway
Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci
Vol. 23 - N. 22