Activation and inactivation of cyclo-oxygenase in rat alveolar macrophages by aqueous cigarette tar extracts

Daniel Hwang, Prithiva Chanmugam, Mary Boudreau, Kyung H. Sohn, Koni Stone, William A. Pryor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Cyclo-oxygenase (COX) activity and its level of expression, the release of arachidonic acid (AA), and the accumulation of prostaglandins (PGs) were determined in isolated rat pulmonary alveolar macrophages (PAM) exposed to aqueous cigarette tar (ACT) extracts. COX activity increased 3-fold above the initial activity within 2 h of incubation with ACT extracts and gradually decreased below the initial activity after 8 h of incubation. The increased COX activity after 2 h of incubation did not lead to increased accumulation of PGE2. Accumulated levels of PGE2 increased dramatically after 12 h of incubation despite decreased COX activity in cells incubated with ACT extracts. This increased accumulation of PGE2 was greater in cells derived from vitamin E deficient rats compared with control rats. Release of AA from cells was dramatically increased in cells incubated with ACT extracts in parallel to PG accumulation. Thus increased accumulation of PGE2 despite decreased COX activity after 12 h of incubation is likely the result of increased substrate availability. These results suggest that, contrary to earlier reports, cigarette smoke stimulates the formation of PGs in alveolar macrophages. Increased PG production may lead to suppressed immune response and enhanced risk of tumorigenesis in smokers' lungs. Copyright (C) 1999 Elsevier Science Inc.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)673-682
Number of pages10
JournalFree Radical Biology and Medicine
Issue number5-6
StatePublished - Sep 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Aqueous cigarette tar extracts
  • Arachidonic acid
  • Free radicals
  • p38 (MAPK) phosphorylation
  • Prostaglandins
  • Vitamin E

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Toxicology
  • Clinical Biochemistry


Dive into the research topics of 'Activation and inactivation of cyclo-oxygenase in rat alveolar macrophages by aqueous cigarette tar extracts'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this