Dual effects of nimesulide, a COX-2 inhibitor, in human platelets

Document Type



Biological and Biomedical Sciences


Nimesulide (CAS 51803-78-2) has been shown to exert marked anti-inflammatory effect in several in vivo models of inflammation. Since nimesulide is considered to be a selective inhibitor of COX-2, it has not been studied in detail in relation to its mechanistic effects on platelets, which express COX-1. This study was conducted to investigate the effects of nimesulide in platelet aggregation. We show that nimesulide (1-100 microM) inhibited platelet aggregation induced by adrenaline (20-200 microM). It also inhibited thromboxane A2 (TXA2) formation by platelets at low concentration (IC50; 1 microM). However, much lower concentrations of nimesulide (0.01-0.1 microM) potentiated the aggregatory response of subthreshold concentrations of adrenaline (0.2-2 microM). Such an effect was blocked by Ca2+-channel blockers, verapamil and diltiazem (IC50: 7 and 46 microM, respectively), nitric oxide donor, SNAP (IC50; 2 microM) and cinchonine (10 nM) but not by genistein (up to 10 microM). These results are indicative of the concentration-dependent dual effects of nimesulide on human platelet aggregation. The synergistic effect of low doses of nimesulide and adrenaline seems to be mediated through inhibition of multiple signalling pathways.


Life Sciences