Cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) can be overexpressed at inflammatory sites, leading to the generation of proinflammatory prostanoids. Selective inhibitors of COX-2 have potential use in treating inflammatory conditions including ophthalmic diseases in veterinary medicine. Keratitis is considered the most common inflammatory eye disease in dogs. In this study we evaluated the expression of COX-2 in normal dog eyes and in dog eyes with keratitis by immunohistochemistry using isoform-specific antibodies. In the normal eye (n = 4), no COX-2 immunoreactivity was observed in the cornea. In keratitis, COX-2 (n = 12) expression was observed in all corneal layers (epithelium, stromal cells, and endothelium). COX-2 immunoreactivity was also noted in the stromal and epithelial cells of the iris and the stromal cells of the trabecular meshwork. These data indicate that COX-2 may play a pathophysiologic role in keratitis and suggest potential therapeutic implications of prostaglandin modulation in inflammatory eye diseases.
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