Cyclooxygenase (COX) is a key regulatory step in the biosynthesis of prostanoids. Prostaglandins are implicated in homeostatic processes like platelet aggregation, maintaining of gastric mucose, reproduction etc; in addition these compounds play an important role in the onset of inflammation, mitogenic responses and cancer. Two COX isoenzymes have been identified. COX-1 is ubiquitous and constitutively expressed in a wide variety of tissues and is responsible for the low and continuous prostaglandin synthesis required in tissue homeostasis. COX-2 is undetectable in most tissues, however, a variety of extracellular and intracellular stimuli such inflammation and other cellular stresses can rapidly induce COX-2 in a variety of cell types. COX-2 is also related with cellular growth and carcinogenesis.
Our group study the relationship between COX-2 expression and liver pathology: hepatitis, fatty liver disease, fibrosis, HCC, ischemia/reperfusion injury, by using different experimental models and human biopsies; and the molecular mechanisms implicated in these processes.