Interspecies differences in the nephrotoxic response to cyclooxygenase inhibition

Rani S. Sellers, Peter B. Senese, K. Nasir M. Khan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


In contrast to cyclooxygenase-1 (COX-1), the basal expression of renal cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) varies among species. High basal levels of COX-2 in the renal cortex and papilla in dogs compared with monkeys suggest that COX-2 inhibition may lead to distinct nephrotoxic responses. In this study, we compared the renal effects of COX inhibition between dogs and cynomolgus monkeys (n = 6/group) following the administration of naproxen sodium, a non-selective COX-1/COX-2 inhibitor. Dogs and monkeys were treated with 50 or 150 mg/kg/day naproxen sodium, respectively, for 2 to 6 weeks. Naproxen doses used in this study resulted in equivalent inhibition of COX activity in both species as measured by reductions in urinary prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) and 6-keto-PGF1-α levels. There was prominent reduction in renal blood flow (43%) and urinary sodium excretion (62%) in dogs but no alterations in renal blood flow and only minimal change (19%) in urinary sodium excretion in monkeys. The canine but not monkey kidney showed prominent COX-2 expression in the macula densa, thick ascending limb of Henle and papillary interstitial cells by immunohistochemistry. After treatment, the canine but not monkey kidneys had mild to moderate renal tubular atrophy and interstitial fibrosis and renal papillary necrosis. Obstructive nephropathy secondary to intra-tubular drug accumulation was seen in monkeys but not in dogs. Collectively, these data demonstrate species differences in the renal response to COX inhibition. The nature of functional and morphologic changes suggests a more prominent role of COX-2 in renal hemodynamics and natriuresis in dogs than in monkeys.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)111-122
Number of pages12
JournalDrug and Chemical Toxicology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 7 2004


  • Comparative nephrotoxicity
  • Cyclooxygenase-2
  • Kidney
  • NSAIDs
  • Naproxen sodium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
  • Chemical Health and Safety


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