Cyclooxygenase-2 inhibition reduces stress-induced affective pathology.


Mood and anxiety disorders are the most prevalent psychiatric conditions and are exacerbated by stress. Recent studies have suggested cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) inhibition could represent a novel treatment approach or augmentation strategy for affective disorders including anxiety disorders and major depression. We show that traditional COX-2 inhibitors and a newly developed substrate-selective COX-2 inhibitor (SSCI) reduce a variety of stress-induced behavioral pathologies in mice. We found that these behavioral effects were associated with a dampening of neuronal excitability in the basolateral amygdala (BLA) ex vivo and in vivo, and were mediated by small-conductance calcium-activated potassium (SK) channel and CB1 cannabinoid receptor activation. Taken together, these data provide further support for the potential utility of SSCIs, as well as traditional COX-2 inhibitors, as novel treatment approaches for stress-related psychiatric disorders.