Study authors from Vanderbilt University Medical Center report that prostaglandin production by macrophages may play a role in cardiovascular adverse events associated with COX-2 inhibitors. Findings from the study are published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation

Prostaglandins are produced by the cyclooxygenease enzymes (COX) 1 and 2, which are involved in inflammation among other effects. However, prostaglandins produced by macrophages seem to have a protective effect on cardiovascular function by regulating blood pressure and fluid retention in response to a high-salt diet. 

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A study conducted in mice showed that when COX-2 enzyme in macrophages was blocked, prostaglandin production was prevented leading to worsened hypertension and edema. 

Study findings may aid in the development of a new drug class that relieves pain without vascular side effects. 

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