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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Increased matrix metalloproteinase-2 and membrane type 1 matrix metalloproteinase activity and expression in heterotopically transplanted murine tracheas.

BACKGROUND: Bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome (BOS) is the most common long-term cause of morbidity and mortality after heart-lung or lung transplantation. One pathologic feature of BOS is infiltration of fibroblasts and connective tissue products into the airway lumen, which form a fibrous, collagen-rich occlusion. Heterotopically transplanted allogeneic murine tracheal stenosis resemble BOS in the development of obliterans airway disease. Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are key enzymes involved in tissue remodeling and, clinically, have several roles in pulmonary diseases. Among the MMP family, type IV collagenases, MMP-2 and MMP-9, have high gelatinolytic activity and are thought to play a role in several pulmonary diseases. Membrane type 1 MMP (MT1-MMP) activates the zymogen of MMP-2 (proMMP-2, 72 kd), and activated MMP-2 (active MMP-2, 62 kd) degrades type IV collagen and plays an important role in clinical pulmonary disease. In this study, we examine the expression of MMP-2, its activator MT1-MMP and MMP-9 in BOS using murine trachea transplantation models. METHODS: Rats were divided into 5 experimental groups (n = 10 in each group). Group I was a control group with intact tracheas. Animals with tracheal grafts underwent heterotopically syngeneic (Groups II and III) or allogeneic (Groups IV and V) transplantation. The recipient rats were killed 7 days (Groups II and IV) or 28 days (Groups III and V) after transplantation. The harvested tracheal grafts were examined histologically. MMP activity was assessed using gelatin zymography analysis, and MMP-2 and MT1-MMP gene expression was examined by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction analysis. Distribution of gelatinolytic activity was studied using in situ zymography. RESULTS: There was little histologic change in the intact trachea (Group I) and in all isografts (Groups II and III). Fibrotic tissues in Group V significantly occluded the tracheal lumen, and there was severe lymphocyte infiltration in Group IV. According to gelatin zymography, proMMP-9 was faint at 7 days, but activated MMP-9 was not present in all groups. The MMP-2 gelatinolytic bands were predominant; the activation in Group V was significantly greater than that in Group IV, and in Group III it was significantly greater than that in Group II. Gene expression of both MMP-2 and MT1-MMP were significantly higher in Group V than in the other groups (p < 0.01), and MMP-2 was clearly activated. Gelatinolytic activity was localized in the fibrotic tissues or lymphocytes of thickening lumen after destruction of the epithelium by stenosis. CONCLUSIONS: These results demonstrate that MMP-2, together with its activator MT1-MMP, may have an important role in the development of BOS, which is associated with destruction of the tracheal epithelium, leading to fibrosis.[1]


  1. Increased matrix metalloproteinase-2 and membrane type 1 matrix metalloproteinase activity and expression in heterotopically transplanted murine tracheas. Inaki, N., Tsunezuka, Y., Kawakami, K., Sato, H., Takino, T., Oda, M., Watanabe, G. J. Heart Lung Transplant. (2004) [Pubmed]
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