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Cyclooxygenase (COX) is the key enzyme responsible for prostanoids production, which plays an important role in inflammatory process and pathogenesis of several diseases including cancer. In this study, non-selective COX-2 inhibitor aspirin was investigated for its cytotoxic activity against cholangiocarcinoma (CCA) in vitro. The cytotoxicity against CCA cell line (CL-6) was performed using MTT assay. Median (range) IC50 values of aspirin and 5-FU were 748.0 (522.2-1,005.5) and 366.8 (306.8-410.9) mM, respectively. Results showed that nonspecific COX inhibitor exhibited potent activities against CCA. This implies that not only COX-2, but also COX-1 may also involve in carcinogenesis of CCA. The expression of COX-1 gene was unchanged but that of COX-2 was partially inhibited by 5-FU and aspirin. COX inhibitors particularly aspirin could potentially have a role in CCA chemotherapy, either as adjuvant or used in combination with conventional cytotoxic agents.
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