Celecoxib (COX-2) treatment : Implications for Schizophrenia and Autism ?

Celecoxib reduces brain dopaminergic neuronaldysfunction, and improves sensorimotor behavioral performance in neonatal rats exposed to systemic lipopolysaccharide



Cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) is induced in inflammatory cells in response to cytokines and pro-inflammatory molecules, suggesting that COX-2 has a role in the inflammatory process. The objective of the current study was to examine whether celecoxib, a selective COX-2 inhibitor, could ameliorate lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced brain inflammation, dopaminergic neuronal dysfunction and sensorimotor behavioral impairments.


Intraperitoneal (i.p.) injection of LPS (2 mg/kg) was performed in rat pups on postnatal Day 5 (P5), and celecoxib (20 mg/kg) or vehicle was administered (i.p.) five minutes after LPS injection. Sensorimotor behavioral tests were carried out 24 h after LPS exposure, and brain injury was examined on P6.


Our results showed that LPS exposure resulted in impairment in sensorimotor behavioral performance and injury to brain dopaminergic neurons, as indicated by loss of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) immunoreactivity, as well as decreases in mitochondria activity in the rat brain. LPS exposure also led to increases in the expression of alpha-synuclein and dopamine transporter proteins and enhanced [3H]dopamine uptake. Treatment with celecoxib significantly reduced LPS-induced sensorimotor behavioral disturbances and dopaminergic neuronal dysfunction.

Celecoxib administration significantly attenuated LPS-induced increases in the numbers of activated microglia and astrocytes and in the concentration of IL-1beta in the neonatal rat brain. The protective effect of celecoxib was also associated with an attenuation of LPS-induced COX-2+ cells, which were double labeled with TH + (dopaminergic neuron) or glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) + (astrocyte) cells.


Systemic LPS administration induced brain inflammatory responses in neonatal rats; these inflammatory responses included induction of COX-2 expression in TH neurons and astrocytes. Application of the COX-2 inhibitor celecoxib after LPS treatment attenuated the inflammatory response and improved LPS-induced impairment, both biochemically and behaviorally.


Further Readings of Interest

Anti-inflammatory treatment in schizophrenia.





This entry was posted in Autism, co-morbid, Immune System, Inflammation, Mice, Physiology, Schizophrenia, Treatment. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Celecoxib (COX-2) treatment : Implications for Schizophrenia and Autism ?

  1. Hi ASDResearchInitiative –

    This paper might be of interest:

    Celecoxib as adjunctive treatment to risperidone in children with autistic disorder: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22782459)


    – pD

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