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

Expression of matrix metalloproteinases and their tissue inhibitor during viral encephalitis.

Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) participate in remodeling the extracellular matrix and facilitate entry of inflammatory cells into tissues. Infection of the murine central nervous system (CNS) with a neurotropic coronavirus induces encephalitis associated with increased levels of mRNA encoding MMP-3 and MMP-12. Whereas virus-induced MMP-3 expression was restricted to CNS resident astrocytes, MMP-12 mRNA was expressed by both inflammatory cells and CNS resident cells. Immunosuppression increased both MMP-3 and MMP-12 mRNA levels in CNS resident cells, suggesting that the presence of virus rather than inflammation induced protease up-regulation. MMP activity is partially regulated by a small family of genes encoding tissue inhibitors of matrix metalloproteinases (TIMPs); among the TIMPs, only TIMP-1 mRNA expression increased in the CNS following coronavirus infection. During inflammation TIMP-1 mRNA was most prominently expressed by infiltrating cells. By contrast, in the immunosuppressed host TIMP-1 mRNA was expressed by CNS resident cells. Analysis of cytokine and chemokine mRNA induction within the infected CNS of healthy and immunocompromised mice suggested a possible correlation between increased viral replication and increased levels of beta interferon, MMP-3, MMP-12, and TIMP-1 mRNA. CD4+ T cells which localize to the perivascular and subarachnoid spaces were identified as the primary source of TIMP-1 protein. By contrast, protein expression was undetectable in astrocytes or CD8+ T cells, the primary antiviral effectors that localize to the CNS parenchyma in response to infection. These data suggest that in contrast to the results seen with MMPs, inhibition of protease activity via TIMP-1 expression correlates with the differential tissue distribution of T-cell subsets during acute coronavirus-induced encephalitis.[1]


  1. Expression of matrix metalloproteinases and their tissue inhibitor during viral encephalitis. Zhou, J., Marten, N.W., Bergmann, C.C., Macklin, W.B., Hinton, D.R., Stohlman, S.A. J. Virol. (2005) [Pubmed]
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