The Effects of Exercise, Aspirin, and Celecoxib in an Atherogenic Environment

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Abstract

Introduction

Optimal vascular function is a hallmark of cardiovascular health. Specifically, the balance of vasoconstricting and vasodilating substances is recognized as a marker of vascular health. One of the greatest challenges to vascular health and vasodilatory balance is tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα)-mediated inflammation. Uncovering effective strategies that maintain a vascular environment that is more vasodilatory and antithrombotic in the face of an inflammatory challenge is favorable.

Purpose

To test the ability of various antithrombotic and provasodilatory treatments, as well as combinations thereof, to prevent unfavorable changes in markers of endothelial dysfunction in human umbilical vein endothelial cells when presented with an inflammatory challenge.

Methods

Human umbilical vein endothelial cells were pretreated with exercise-like levels of laminar shear stress (LSS), aspirin, celecoxib, and their combination before a TNFα challenge. Western blot analysis as well as colorimetric assays were used to determine levels of endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) and prostacyclin (6-keto PGF1α)/thromboxane (TXB2) metabolite ratio, respectively.

Results

Neither aspirin nor celecoxib were effective in preventing TNFα-induced reduction in eNOS. Further, aspirin was unable to maintain baseline levels of prostacyclin/thromboxane ratio in the face of the inflammatory challenge. Laminar shear stress, aspirin/LSS combination, and celecoxib/LSS combination were all able to prevent TNFα-induced alterations in eNOS levels and prostacyclin/thromboxane ratio.

Conclusions

Effective strategies to maintain a healthy endothelium, and therefore resistance vessel health, need to include exercise-levels of shear stress to be effective.

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