COX-2-mediated PGD2 synthesis regulates phosphatidylcholine biosynthesis in rat renal papillary tissue

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Phosphatidylcholine (PC) is the major membrane phospholipid in mammalian cells. Previous works from our laboratory demonstrated a close metabolic relationship between the maintenance of PC biosynthesis and the prostaglandins endogenously synthesized by cyclooxygenase (COX) in rat renal papilla. In the present work, we studied the COX isoform involved in papillary PC biosynthesis regulation. The incorporation of [methyl-3H]choline and [32P]orthophosphate to PC was determined in the absence and presence of SC-560 and NS-398, COX-1 and COX-2 specific inhibitors. PC synthesis was highly sensitive to COX-2 inhibition, while COX-1 inhibition only reduced PC synthesis at high SC-560 concentration. The analysis of choline-containing metabolites showed that COX-2 inhibition affected the formation of CDP-choline intermediary. The evaluation of PC biosynthetic enzymes revealed that microsomal, as well as nuclear, CTP:phosphocholine cytidylyltransferase (CCT), and nuclear-CDP-choline:1,2-diacylglycerol cholinephosphotransferase (CTP) activities were affected by COX-2 inhibition. The addition of exogenous prostaglandin D2 (PGD2) restored nuclear-CCT and -CPT activities but not microsomal CCT. Papillary synthesis of PGD2 was only detected in nuclear fraction where it was blocked by COX-2 inhibitor NS-398, but not by COX-1 inhibitor. All together, the present results demonstrated that COX-2-mediated PGD2 synthesis is a PC biosynthesis regulator in rat renal papilla. Considering the importance of the maintenance of PC biosynthesis for the preservation of cell membrane homeostasis to ensure cell viability, and the extensive use of COX-2 inhibitors in therapeutics, the present results could have great pharmacological implications, and can constitute a biochemical explanation for the nephrotoxic effect of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

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