Cyclooxygenases 1 and 2 (COX-1 and COX-2) are key enzymes in prostaglandin biosynthesis and the target enzymes for the widely used nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. To study the physiological roles of the individual isoforms, we have disrupted the mouse Ptgs1 gene encoding COX-1. Homozygous Ptgs1 mutant mice survive well, have no gastric pathology, and show less indomethacin-induced gastric ulceration than wild-type mice, even though their gastric prostaglandin E2 levels are about 1% of wild type. The homozygous mutant mice have reduced platelet aggregation and a decreased inflammatory response to arachidonic acid, but not to tetradecanoyl phorbol acetate. Ptgs1 homozygous mutant females mated to homozygous mutant males produce few live offspring. COX-1-deficient mice provide a useful model to distinguish the physiological roles of COX-1 and COX-2.
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