Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are a family of proteolytic enzymes that degrade various components of the extracellular matrix (ECM). Members of the MMP family include collagenases, gelatinases, stromelysins, matrilysins and membrane-type MMPs. ProMMPs are cleaved into active forms that promote degradation of ECM proteins. Also, recent evidence suggests direct or indirect effects of MMPs on ion channels in the endothelium and vascular smooth muscle, and on other mechanisms of vascular relaxation/contraction. Endogenous tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinases (TIMPs) reduce excessive proteolytic ECM degradation by MMPs. The balance between MMPs and TIMPs plays a major role in vascular remodeling, angiogenesis, and the uterine and systemic vasodilation during normal pregnancy. An imbalance in the MMPs/TIMPs activity ratio may underlie the pathogenesis of vascular diseases such as abdominal aortic aneurysm, varicose veins, hypertension and preeclampsia. Downregulation of MMPs using genetic manipulations of endogenous TIMPs, or synthetic pharmacological inhibitors such as BB-94 (Batimastat) and doxycycline, and Ro-28-2653, a more specific inhibitor of gelatinases and membrane type 1-MMP, could be beneficial in reducing the MMP-mediated vascular dysfunction and the progressive vessel wall damage associated with vascular disease.
MMP; TIMP; blood vessels; extracellular matrix; aneurysm; varicose veins
The left ventricular phenotype of idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) can appear similar in paediatric and adult patients. However, the aetiology of paediatric DCM is usually idiopathic, and often leads an aggressive clinical course. A structural underpinning of DCM is extracellular matrix changes, which are determined by a balance between matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) and tissue inhibitors of MMPs (TIMPs). This study tested the hypothesis that different MMP/TIMP profiles occur in paediatric and adult DCM patients.
Methods and results
Left ventricular samples from paediatric (age 9 ± 5 years; n = 10) and adult (age 62 ± 3 years; n = 20) DCM (at time of transplant) were subjected to an MMP/TIMP multiplex array and immunoassay in order to measure the MMP subclasses; collagenases (MMP-8, -13), gelatinases (MMP-2, -9), stromelysin/matrilysin (MMP-3, -7), membrane type (MT1-MMP), as well as for the four known TIMPs. MMP-8 and -9 levels increased by over 150% (P < 0.05), whereas MMP-3 and -7 levels decreased by over 30% (P < 0.05) in paediatric DCM when compared with adult DCM. TIMP-1 and -2 levels increased two-fold (P < 0.05), but TIMP-3 fell by 41% (P < 0.05) in paediatric DCM. Myocardial levels of specific interleukins (IL-1beta, IL-2, IL-8) were increased by approximately 50% in paediatric DCM.
These unique findings demonstrated that a specific MMP/TIMP profile occurs in paediatric DCM when compared with adult DCM, and that local cytokine induction may contribute to this process. These distinct differences in the determinants of myocardial matrix structure and function may contribute to the natural history of DCM in children.
Cardiomyopathy; Extracellular matrix; Matrix metalloproteinase; Paediatrics
AIM—To examine epiretinal membranes of proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR) for the presence of selective matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) and their natural inhibitors (TIMPs), in order to determine whether neovascularisation and fibrosis, characteristic of this complication of diabetes mellitus, are associated with specific anomalies of MMP or TIMP expression.
METHODS—The presence of selected MMPs and TIMPs was investigated in 24 fibrovascular epiretinal membranes of PDR, and the findings compared with that observed in 21 avascular epiretinal membranes of proliferative vitreoretinopathy (PVR) and five normal retinas. Specimens were examined for deposition of interstitial collagenase (MMP-1), stromelysin-1 (MMP-3), gelatinase A (MMP-2), gelatinase B (MMP-9), and three tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinases (TIMP-1, TIMP-2, and TIMP-3).
RESULTS—The results showed that unlike normal retina, which constitutively expresses MMP-1 and TIMP-2, a large proportion of PDR membranes (> 62%) stained for MMP-1, MMP-2, MMP-3, MMP-9, TIMP-1, TIMP-2, and TIMP-3. There were no differences in the expression of these molecules when compared with PVR membranes. A characteristic staining for MMP-9 was observed within the perivascular matrix of PDR membranes, and there was a significant increase in TIMP-2 expression by PDR membranes (p= 0.036) when compared with PVR membranes.
CONCLUSIONS—The findings that MMPs involved in degradation of fibrovascular tissue matrix, as well as TIMP-1 and TIMP-2, are found in a large proportion of PDR membranes, and that their expression does not differ from that of PVR membranes, suggest the existence of common pathways of extracellular matrix degradation in pathological processes leading to retinal neovascularisation and fibrosis.
Metalloproteinases produced by connective tissue cells may play a key part in the destruction of joints in rheumatoid arthritis. Matrix metalloproteinase 3 (MMP-3; stromelysin) capable of degrading cartilage proteoglycans and type IX collagen and of activating procollagenase was immunolocalised in hyperplastic synovial lining cells in rheumatoid synovium, but not in the cells of normal synovium. Cells responsible for synthesis of MMP-3 have the phenotype of synovioblasts (B cells) by immunoelectron microscopy, but not of phagocytic synovial macrophages (A cells). Cultured monolayer of rheumatoid synovial cells synthesises MMP-3 only under treatment with macrophage conditioned medium. Immunolocalisation of MMP-3 in rheumatoid synovium and cultured synovial cells was possible when the specimens were treated with a monovalent ionophore, monensin. These results suggest that MMP-3 is synthesised and secreted continuously without storage from hyperplastic synovioblasts stimulated by factor(s) derived from activated macrophages present in the synovium.
Dysregulated extracellular matrix (ECM) metabolism may contribute to vascular remodeling during the development and complication of human atherosclerotic lesions. We investigated the expression of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), a family of enzymes that degrade ECM components in human atherosclerotic plaques (n = 30) and in uninvolved arterial specimens (n = 11). We studied members of all three MMP classes (interstitial collagenase, MMP-1; gelatinases, MMP-2 and MMP-9; and stromelysin, MMP-3) and their endogenous inhibitors (TIMPs 1 and 2) by immunocytochemistry, zymography, and immunoprecipitation. Normal arteries stained uniformly for 72-kD gelatinase and TIMPs. In contrast, plaques' shoulders and regions of foam cell accumulation displayed locally increased expression of 92-kD gelatinase, stromelysin, and interstitial collagenase. However, the mere presence of MMP does not establish their catalytic capacity, as the zymogens lack activity, and TIMPs may block activated MMPs. All plaque extracts contained activated forms of gelatinases determined zymographically and by degradation of 3H-collagen type IV. To test directly whether atheromata actually contain active matrix-degrading enzymes in situ, we devised a method which allows the detection and microscopic localization of MMP enzymatic activity directly in tissue sections. In situ zymography revealed gelatinolytic and caseinolytic activity in frozen sections of atherosclerotic but not of uninvolved arterial tissues. The MMP inhibitors, EDTA and 1,10-phenanthroline, as well as recombinant TIMP-1, reduced these activities which colocalized with regions of increased immunoreactive MMP expression, i.e., the shoulders, core, and microvasculature of the plaques. Focal overexpression of activated MMP may promote destabilization and complication of atherosclerotic plaques and provide novel targets for therapeutic intervention.
No measurable amounts of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) were produced by human breast adenocarcinoma cell lines MCF-7 and BT-20 in culture. When MCF-7 cells were co-cultured with human dermal fibroblasts enhanced production of precursors of MMP-1 (interstitial collagenase), MMP-2 (gelatinase A), MMP-3 (stromelysin 1) and tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase type 1 (TIMP-1) was observed. Immunohistochemical studies indicated that these pro-MMPs originated primarily from the fibroblasts, suggesting that MCF-7 cells have a stimulatory effect on stromal cells to produce at least three pro-MMPs and TIMP-1. BT-20 cells also enhanced the production of pro-MMP-2 and TIMP-1 in the dermal fibroblasts, but not of pro-MMP-1 and pro-MMP-3. Normal mammary epithelial cells promoted only TIMP-1 production. To investigate further the stimulatory factors from MCF-7 cells, the conditioned medium and the cell membrane were prepared and examined. The cell membrane fraction enhanced the production of pro-MMP-1 and -3 and TIMP-1, but not of pro-MMP-2. The conditioned medium, on the other hand, augmented the production of all four proteins in the fibroblasts. These observations suggest that breast adenocarcinoma MCF-7 cells in culture produce both soluble and membrane-bound factor(s) which stimulate the production of pro-MMPs and TIMP-1 in neighbouring stromal cells, but the factor(s) released into the medium and that associated with cell membranes are probably different. Such communication between the normal and malignant cell types may, in part, assist the cancer cells to invade and metastasise.
The expression profile of matrix metalloproteinases (MMP) and tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase-2 (TIMP-2) was specific to the type of middle ear effusion. Further studies are necessary for elucidating its correlation with the sequelae of otitis media with effusion (OME) and idiopathic hemotympanum.
We aimed to investigate the relative activities of gelatinases (MMP-2 and 9), stromelysin-1 (MMP-3), matrilysin-1 (MMP-7) as well as measuring TIMP-2 levels in the serous and mucous effusions of OME and hemorrhagic effusion of the idiopathic hemotympanum.
Middle ear effusions were collected from patients with OME and idiopathic hemotympanum, and were classified as mucoid, serous or hemorrhagic. MMP activity in the effusion samples was examined by gelatin and casein zymography. Levels of TIMP-2 were measured by ELISA. Human temporal bones sections, with and without otitis media (OM), were examined histologically.
One case showed tympanic membrane thinning in the OM group, but none in the control group. While MMP-2 was present in all effusions, the active form of MMP-2 was found only in mucous effusions. MMP-3 and MMP-7 activity was detected only in the mucous effusions. MMP-9 exhibited activity in all effusions, with the highest levels in mucous effusions. TIMP-2 levels were markedly elevated in serous effusions.
Matrix metalloproteinase; Tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase; Otitis media with effusion; Idiopathic hemotympanum
OBJECTIVE—Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are expressed in joint tissues of patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and osteoarthritis (OA). The objective of this study was to define the steady state levels of seven different MMPs and two tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinases (TIMPs) as well as the potential metalloproteinase activity in the synovial fluid (SF) to provide more insight into the role of MMPs in cartilage destruction in RA and OA.
METHODS—Levels of MMP-1, MMP-2, MMP-3, MMP-7, MMP-8, MMP-9, MMP-13, TIMP-1, and TIMP-2 in SF aspirated from knee joints of 97 patients with RA and 103 patients with OA were measured by the corresponding one step sandwich enzyme immunoassays. Proteolytic activity of MMPs in these SFs was examined in an assay using [3H]carboxymethylated transferrin substrate in the presence of inhibitors of serine and cysteine proteinases after activation with p-aminophenylmercuric acetate (APMA). Destruction of RA knee joints was radiographically evaluated.
RESULTS—Levels of MMP-1, MMP-2, MMP-3, MMP-8, and MMP-9 were significantly higher in RA SF than in OA SF. MMP-7 and MMP-13 were detectable in more than 45% of RA SFs and in less than 20% of OA SFs, respectively. Among the MMPs examined, MMP-3 levels were extremely high compared with those of other MMPs. Direct correlations were seen between the levels of MMP-1 and MMP-3 and between those of MMP-8 and MMP-9 in RA SF. Although the levels of MMP-1 and MMP-3 increased even in the early stage of RA, those of MMP-8 and MMP-9 were low in the early stage and increased with the progression of RA. Molar ratios of the total amounts of the MMPs to those of the TIMPs were 5.2-fold higher in patients with RA than in OA, which was significant. APMA-activated metalloproteinase activity in SF showed a similar result, and a direct correlation was seen between the molar ratios and the activity in RA SF.
CONCLUSIONS—Our results show that high levels of MMP-1, MMP-2, MMP-3, MMP-8, MMP-9, and TIMP-1 are present in RA SF and suggest that once these MMPs are fully activated, they have an imbalance against TIMPs, which may contribute to the cartilage destruction in RA.
OBJECTIVE—To define the pattern of mRNA expression of all human matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) described to date in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and traumatic synovial membrane, in order to differentiate between a physiological tissue remodelling pattern and that associated with inflammatory tissue destruction.
METHODS—Analysis of SwissProt protein and EMBL/GenBank nucleotide sequence banks, protein sequence alignment, reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction and nucleotide sequencing were used.
RESULTS—MMP-2 (gelatinase A), MMP-3 (stromelysin-1), MMP-11 (stromelysin-3) and MMP-19 were constitutively expressed. MMP-1 (fibroblast type collagenase), MMP-9 (gelatinase B) and MMP-14 (MT1-MMP) were expressed in all RA, but only in 55-80% of trauma samples. MMP-13 (collagenase-3) and MMP-15 (MT2-MMP) were expressed exclusively in RA (80-90% of the samples). MMP-20 (enamelysin) was absent and MMP-8 (collagenase-2) was rarely found in RA or trauma. All other MMPs (-7, -10, -12, -16, -17) had an intermediate pattern of expression.
CONCLUSIONS—Some MMPs without interstitial collagenase activity seem to have a constitutive pattern of expression and probably participate in physiological synovial tissue remodelling. Some MMPs are exclusively associated to RA synovitis, for example, MMP-13, which preferentially degrades type II collagen and aggrecan, and MMP-15, which activates proMMP-2 and proMMP-13 and is involved in tumour necrosis factor α processing. This clear cut rheumatoid/inflammatory MMP profile, more complex than has been previously appreciated, may facilitate inflammatory tissue destruction in RA.
Mast cells have been implicated in the pathogenesis of the matrix degradation observed in the cartilaginous and osseous structures of the rheumatoid joint. We previously reported that human mast cell tryptase, a 134-kD granule-associated neutral protease, is present in rheumatoid synovium and can activate collagenase in crude culture medium in vitro. the present study attempts to depict the precise mechanism of this activation. To express full activation of latent collagenase, matrix metalloproteinase 3 (MMP-3) or stromelysin, can be activated by tryptase in a time and dose-dependent manner. Tryptase was not capable of generating active collagenase in the crude media from cultured rheumatoid synoviocytes depleted of proMMP-3 by immunoadsorption. In addition, the function of the tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases (TIMP) was not altered by tryptase, and SDS-PAGE analysis revealed no degradation of TIMP by tryptase. The tryptase dependent activation of synoviocyte procollagenase thereby appears to be entirely dependent upon its ability to activate proMMP-3.
OBJECTIVE—To determine whether induced mast cell activation/degranulation in rheumatoid synovial explants modulates the production of prostaglandin E (PGE2), and the matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) collagenase 1, gelatinase A, and stromelysin 1.
METHODS—Synovial explant cultures were treated either with rabbit IgG anti-human IgE as a mast cell (MC) secretagogue or with non-immune rabbit IgG as controls. After 20 hours conditioned medium was assayed for the release of MC tryptase, PGE2, collagenase 1, gelatinase A, and stromelysin 1 using radioimmunoassay, enzyme linked immunosorbent assay, western blot, and zymogram techniques; tissue explants were examined immunohistologically for the relative distributions of MC tryptase, collagenase 1, and stromelysin 1.
RESULTS—Over a 20 hour incubation period the MC secretagogue treated explants showed a significant increase in the quantities of released tryptase and PGE2 compared with controls. By contrast, the three MMPs showed variable values between experiments in response to MC activation; no reproducible trend of either an increased or decreased production of each MMP over control values was evident. Each MMP initially appeared as an inactive precursor form; collagenase 1 and stromelysin 1 were more effectively processed to active forms in the MC activated cultures. Immunolocalisation studies of MC activated explants showed that areas of extracellular tryptase were commonly associated with the local production of both collagenase 1 and stromelysin 1.
CONCLUSION—MC degranulation induced artificially in rheumatoid synovial explant cultures consistently resulted in an increased production of PGE2 but had variable effects on the quantification of released collagenase 1, gelatinase A, and stromelysin 1. Such observations support the concept that activated synovial MCs within their native environment stimulate the production of non-MC derived PGE2 and may contribute to the regulation and processing of specific MMPs; both aspects represent important components of the inflammatory and degradative processes of the rheumatoid lesion.
Keywords: mast cells; matrix metalloproteinases; prostaglandin E2; rheumatoid synovium
OBJECTIVES--To investigate whether interstitial collagenase (MMP-1) concentration in synovial fluid can be useful as a marker for disease activity in rheumatoid arthritis (RA), to determine the main route by which collagenase degrades the matrix of articular cartilage, and to investigate if an imbalance between metalloproteinases (MMPs) and tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases (TIMP) is responsible for the activity of MMPs in RA. METHODS--Collagenase concentrations were measured in synovial fluid and paired serum samples using a specific sandwich enzyme linked immunosorbent assay. Collagenase activities were also assayed in synovial fluid samples. Synovial tissues obtained from the same patient were examined by immunohistochemical staining and the numbers of cells expressing collagenase were counted. RESULTS--Collagenase concentrations in synovial fluid did not correlate with C reactive protein and collagenase levels in serum, but did correlate positively with the degree of synovial inflammation, and increased with increasing numbers of cells identified as expressing collagenase in synovial tissue. Collagenase activities did not correlate with TIMP-1 concentrations, but did correlate strongly with the ratios of collagenase concentration to TIMP-1 (r = 0.73). CONCLUSION--The collagenase concentration in synovial fluid cannot be used as a marker for systemic disease activity, but can be used as a marker for the degree of synovial inflammation in the joint from which the sample is aspirated. In advanced RA, most of the collagenase is probably produced in synovial lining cells and released into synovial fluid, where it degrades the matrix of articular cartilage. An imbalance between MMP and TIMP may be of importance in the degradation of extracellular matrix of articular cartilage in RA.
AIMS--To investigate the role of the matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) in the connective tissue changes seen in the intestine in Crohn's disease. METHODS--Indirect immunofluorescence microscopy using specific antibodies to the MMPs (collagenase, gelatinase A and B, and stromelysin) were used to assess the distribution of these enzymes in normal and diseased intestine. RESULTS--In normal intestine the matrix metalloproteinases were confined to a few isolated inflammatory cells, but in Crohn's disease, the inflammatory infiltrate was associated with increased numbers of polymorphonuclear leucocytes which stained positive for gelatinase B. Stromelysin was also detected extracellularly on the connective tissue matrix in regions of smooth muscle cell proliferation and mucosal degradation. Interestingly, in ulcerative colitis, another inflammatory bowel disease, stromelysin was localised in the lamina propria in regions of mucosal loss. CONCLUSIONS--The increased numbers of inflammatory cells containing gelatinase B, and the localisation of extracellular stromelysin in regions of fibrosis and mucosal degradation, suggest that these enzymes have a role in the pathological changes seen in Crohn's disease. In cases of ulcerative colitis stromelysin was also detected on the lamina propria in regions of mucosal loss, and seems to be associated with the connective tissue changes that precede mucosal loss.
A hallmark of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is invasion of the synovial pannus into cartilage and this step requires degradation of the collagen matrix. The aim of this study was to explore the role of one of the collagen-degrading matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), membrane-type 1 MMP (MT1-MMP), in synovial pannus invasiveness.
Expression and localization of MT1-MMP in human RA pannus were investigated by Western blot analysis of primary synovial cells and immunohistochemistry of RA joints specimens. The functional role of MT1-MMP was analyzed by 3D collagen invasion assays and a cartilage invasion assay in the presence or absence of tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase (TIMP)-1, TIMP-2, or GM6001. The effect of adenoviral expression of a dominant negative MT1-MMP construct lacking a catalytic domain was also examined.
MT1-MMP was highly expressed at the pannus-cartilage junction of RA joints. Freshly isolated rheumatoid synovial tissues and isolated RA synovial fibroblasts invaded into a 3D collagen matrix in an MT1-MMP-dependent manner. Invasion was blocked by TIMP-2 and GM6001, but not by TIMP-1. It was also inhibited by the over-expression of a dominant negative MT1-MMP which inhibits collagenolytic activity and proMMP-2 activation by MT1-MMP on the cell surface. Synovial fibroblasts also invaded into cartilage in an MT1-MMP-dependent manner. This process was further enhanced by removing aggrecan from the cartilage matrix.
MT1-MMP is an essential collagen-degrading proteinase during pannus invasion in human RA. Specific inhibition of MT1-MMP-dependent invasion may form a novel therapeutic strategy for RA.
MT1-MMP; synovial pannus; rheumatoid arthritis
Oesophageal adenocarcinoma is believed to arise from metaplastic mucosa in the distal oesophagus, a condition also known as Barrett's oesophagus (BE). BE develops as a result of injury caused by refluxing gastric and duodenal contents and is associated with increased risk of malignant transformation. Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) have been implicated in all aspects of tumour progression; tumour growth, basement membrane degradation, invasion and metastatic spread. Using in situ hybridization, we investigated the expression patterns of collagenases-1 and -3, stromelysin-2, matrilysin, metalloelastase and TIMPs-1 and -3 in BE, adenocarcinoma and lymph-node metastases. Matrilysin was expressed abundantly in 12/15 tumours and in 4/6 lymph-node metastases and its expression correlated with the histological aggressiveness of tumour. Matrilysin and metalloelastase were upregulated already in BE. Stromelysin-2 and collagenase-3 expression was detected only in a few tumours. Collagenase-1 was expressed by cancer and stromal cells in 9/15 tumours. Tumour-infiltrating macrophages expressed metalloelastase in 13/15 cancers. TIMPs-1 and -3 were expressed in 12/15 and 11/15 tumours, respectively. Laminin-5 and tenascin were abundantly expressed at the invasive front of poorly differentiated tumours, but not in BE. Our results indicate that matrilysin is the principal MMP expressed by tumour cells in oesophageal adenocarcinoma, and further studies are needed to investigate whether matrilysin or tenascin-C could be used as a predictive marker for progression of BE to cancer. © 2001 Cancer Research Campaign http://www.bjcancer.com
collagenase; in situ hybridization; laminin-5; tenascin-C
Nine primary pulmonary carcinomas, one metastatic carcinoma, and two malignant pleural mesotheliomas have been analysed for the expression at the mRNA level of metalloproteinases (MPs) and tissue inhibitors of MPs (TIMPs). In situ hybridisation showed TIMP-1 and TIMP-2 transcripts predominantly over tumour stroma and gelatinases evenly distributed over both stromal and tumour cells. While both TIMP-1 and TIMP-2 were expressed in non-neoplastic lungs (NNL) as well as in carcinomas, stromelysin 3 (ST3), 92 kDa gelatinase and interstitial collagenase were expressed only by carcinomas. Expression of these MPs by carcinomas was independent of histologic type and such tumour features as fibrosis or necrosis. The consistent expression of ST3 by all of the carcinomas examined and absence of its expression in NNL indicates that ST3 production is likely associated with the malignant phenotype. However, since 92 kDa gelatinase and interstitial collagenase transcripts were found in some but not all tumour samples, their expression is not a uniform feature of pulmonary carcinomas. The possible prognostic significance of the expression of the latter two enzymes by carcinomas remains to be established.
Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) and their inhibitors (tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinases, TIMPs) play essential roles in the remodelling of the extracellular matrix (ECM). Results of in vivo and in vitro studies suggest that the balance between MMPs and TIMPs is altered in neoplasia, contributing to the invasive and metastatic properties of malignant tumours. In this study we have analysed the expression of five MMP genes and TIMP-1 and TIMP-2 in 37 benign and malignant lesions of human breast using Northern blot analysis. MMP-9 (92 kDa gelatinase) and MMP-11 (stromelysin 3) were most consistently expressed by carcinomas. Based on detection of either MMP-9 or MMP-11 mRNAs, we were able to distinguish between malignant and benign disease with a predictive accuracy of 90% with 94% sensitivity and 85% specificity. Subsequently, these results were compared with results for carcinomas of colon and lung and malignant non-Hodgkin's lymphomas (NHL). Elevated MMP-9 and TIMP-1 expression was observed in all four systems. MMP-11 characterised all carcinomas as well as carcinomas in situ but was not detectable in NHL. Our data therefore argue that there are remarkably similar patterns of specific functions involved in ECM remodelling that correlate with malignancy in different human tumours of different histogenesis. However, MMP-11 expression is a characteristic of tumours of epithelial origin that is not found in lymphoid neoplasia. Thus it suggests that MMP-11 may play a regulatory role in the invasion and metastasis of carcinomas.
Tissue inhibitors of matrix metalloproteinases (TIMPs) regulate the breakdown of extracellular matrix components and play an important role in tissue remodelling and growth, in both physiological and pathological conditions. We studied the autoimmune response to TIMPs in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Eighty-nine paired blood and synovial fluid samples from patients with RA were assessed for their reactivity with recombinant tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinases (TIMPs) 1 to 4 by an ELISA and were compared with blood from 62 healthy controls and 21 synovial fluid samples from patients with degenerative joint diseases. Presence of antibodies was established as the absorbance of the sample more than 2 standard deviations above the mean of the controls. In addition, immunoglobulin G (IgG) from blood samples of RA patients possessing TIMP antibodies was isolated on protein A–sepharose and tested for the in vitro ability to neutralize TIMP-2-dependent effects on metalloproteinase 9 (MMP9). Anti-TIMP antibodies were found in 56% of RA samples but in only 5% of the controls (P < 0.005). RA patients had high frequencies of antibodies against all TIMPs except TIMP-3. TIMP-2 antibodies were most frequently found (33%), being significantly more prevalent (P = 0.024) in patients with nonerosive than erosive RA. TIMP-1 antibodies were significantly more often found in synovial fluid samples than in the matched blood samples (P < 0.025). Importantly, the IgG fraction containing TIMP antibodies down-regulated the TIMP-2 inhibitory effect, thereby supporting MMP9 activity in vitro. In the present study, we show that RA patients frequently develop autoimmune response to TIMPs that may act as a functionally significant regulator of MMP activity and thereby of joint destruction.
The aim of this study was to examine IL-17A in patients, following anti-TNF-α therapy and the effect of IL-17A on matrix turnover and cartilage degradation.
IL-17A expression was examined by ELISA and immunohistology in the rheumatoid arthritis (RA) joints. RA whole synovial tissue explant (RA ST), primary synovial fibroblasts (RASFC), human cartilage and chondrocyte cultures were stimulated with IL-17A +/- TNF-α and Oncostatin M (OSM). Matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) and tissue inhibitor (TIMP-1) were assessed by ELISA and zymography. Cartilage proteoglycan release was assessed histologically by Safranin-O staining. Clinical parameters, IL-17A, MMP/TIMP were assessed in patients pre/post biologic therapy.
IL-17A levels were higher in RA vs osteoarthritis (OA)/normal joints (P < 0.05). IL-17A up-regulated MMP-1, -2, -9, and -13 in RA ST, RASFC, cartilage and chondrocyte cultures (P < 0.05). In combination with TNF-α and OSM, IL-17A shifted the MMP:TIMP-1 ratio in favor of matrix degradation (all P < 0.05). Cartilage proteoglycan depletion in response to IL-17A was mild; however, in combination with TNF-α or OSM showed almost complete proteoglycan depletion. Serum IL-17A was detected in 28% of patients commencing biologic therapy. IL-17A negative patients demonstrated reductions post therapy in serum MMP1/TIMP4, MMP3/TIMP1 and MMP3/TIMP4 ratios and an increase in CS846 (all P < 0.05). No significant changes were observed in IL-17A positive patients.
IL-17A is produced locally in the inflamed RA joint. IL-17A promotes matrix turnover and cartilage destruction, especially in the presence of other cytokines, mimicking the joint environment. IL-17A levels are modulated in vivo, following anti-TNF therapy, and may reflect changes in matrix turnover.
Injury to a peripheral nerve is followed by a remodeling process consisting of axonal degeneration and regeneration. It is not known how Schwann cell–derived basement membrane is preserved after injury or what role matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) and their inhibitors play in axonal degeneration and regeneration. We showed that the MMPs gelatinase B (MMP-9), stromelysin-1 (MMP-3), and the tissue inhibitor of MMPs (TIMP)-1 were induced in crush and distal segments of mouse sciatic nerve after injury. TIMP-1 inhibitor activity was present in excess of proteinase activity in extracts of injured nerve. TIMP-1 protected basement membrane type IV collagen from degradation by exogenous gelatinase B in cryostat sections of nerve in vitro. In vivo, during the early phase (1 d after crush) and later phase (4 d after crush) after injury, induction of TNF-α and TGF-β1 mRNAs, known modulators of TIMP-1 expression, were paralleled by an upregulation of TIMP-1 and gelatinase B mRNAs. At 4 days after injury, TIMP-1, gelatinase B, and TNF-α mRNAs were localized to infiltrating macrophages and Schwann cells in the regions of nerve infiltrated by elicited macrophages. TIMP-1 and cytokine mRNA expression was upregulated in undamaged nerve explants incubated with medium conditioned by macrophages or containing the cytokines TGF-β1, TNF-α, and IL-1α. These results show that TIMP-1 may protect basement membrane from uncontrolled degradation after injury and that cytokines produced by macrophages may participate in the regulation of TIMP-1 levels during nerve repair.
Tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinases (TIMPs) are multi-functional proteins with matrix metalloproteinases-inhibiting activities. We studied expression of anti-inflammatory, TIMP-4 gene in human joint tissues and its regulation by arthritis-associated cytokines.
TIMP-4 RNA expression originating from synovial fibroblasts was significantly (2.4 fold; p<0.001) elevated in 8 osteoarthritic (OA) versus 7 non-arthritic synovial membranes. Non-arthritic and OA femoral head and knee chondrocytes displayed substantial but variably constitutive expression of the TIMP-4 mRNA. In articular chondrocytes, transforming growth factor beta (TGF-β1) and oncostatin M (OSM) upregulated TIMP-4 RNA and protein expression while interleukin-1 (IL-1β) and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) did not, suggesting differential regulation by arthritis-associated cytokines. Interleukin 17 (IL-17) mildly induced TIMP-4 mRNA. TGF-β1 induction of TIMP-4 expression was partly inhibited by ERK pathway and Sp1 transcription factor inhibitors.
Enhanced TIMP-4 gene expression in OA synovial membranes and cartilage may be due to induction by TGF-β1, OSM and IL-17, suggesting its pathophysiological role in tissue remodeling in human joints. TGF-β1 induction of TIMP-4 expression is mediated partly by ERK pathway and Sp1 transcription factor.
Osteoarthritis; synovium; chondrocytes; TIMP-4; cytokines.
The genetic background of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is only partly understood, and several genes seem to be involved. The matrix metalloproteinases MMP1 (interstitial collagenase) and MMP3 (stromelysin 1) are thought to be important in destructive joint changes seen in RA. In the present study, functional relevant promoter polymorphisms of MMP1 and MMP3 were genotyped in 308 patients and in 110 controls, to test whether the polymorphisms contribute to the severity of the disease measured by radiographic progression of joint destruction. For comparison, the shared epitope of HLA DR4 and DR1 (SE) was determined by polymerase chain reaction. There was no association of MMP polymorphisms with susceptibility to RA. However, a strong linkage disequilibrium was observed between the 1G/2G (MMP1) and the 5A/6A (MMP3) polymorphisms (P << 10-6; linkage disequilibrium index D' = 0.46). In factorial regression, the degree of radiographic joint destruction correlated significantly with the 1G-5A haplotype (P = 0.0001) and the interaction term 'estimated number of 1G-5A haplotypes × duration of disease' (P = 0.0007). This association was phasic, indicating that possession of the 1G-5A haplotype has a protective effect over a period of about 15 years of RA, but might be associated with a more pronounced radiographic progression later on. Similar results were also found with the 1G allele of MMP1 alone (P = 0.015) and with the interaction term 'estimated number of 1G alleles × duration of disease' (P = 0.014). The correlation of SE with the Ratingen score was comparable (0.044). The regression model of MMP haplotypes explained 35% of the variance of the radiographic score, whereas the SE explained 29%. The 1G-5A haplotype across the closely linked MMP1 and MMP3 gene loci is a newly described genetic factor strongly associated with the progression of joint damage in RA. Our findings suggest that there are haplotypes in a MMP cluster region that modify the joint destruction in RA in a phasic manner.
allelic polymorphism; matrix metalloproteinase; radiographic progression; rheumatoid arthritis
We have used transgenic mice overexpressing the human tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases (TIMP)-1 gene under the control of the ubiquitous beta-actin promoter/enhancer to evaluate matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) function in vivo in mammary gland growth and development. By crossing the TIMP-1 transgenic animals with mice expressing an autoactivating stromelysin-1 transgene targeted to mammary epithelial cells, we obtained a range of mice with genetically engineered proteolytic levels. The alveolar epithelial cells of mice expressing autoactivating stromelysin-1 underwent unscheduled apoptosis during late pregnancy. When stromelysin-1 transgenic mice were crossed with mice overexpressing TIMP-1, apoptosis was extinguished. Entactin (nidogen) was a specific target for stromelysin-1 in the extracellular matrix. The enhanced cleavage of basement membrane entactin to above-normal levels was directly related to the apoptosis of overlying mammary epithelial cells and paralleled the extracellular MMP activity. These results provide direct evidence for cleavage of an extracellular matrix molecule by an MMP in vivo.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is characterised by invasion of cartilage, bone and tendon by inflamed synovium. Previous studies in our laboratory have shown that hypoxia is a feature of RA synovitis. In the present study, we investigated the consequences of hypoxia on angiogenesis and synovial fibroblast migration in RA.
Synovial tissue was harvested from RA patients, and synovial membrane cells were cultured under conditions either of hypoxia (1% oxygen) or normoxia (21% oxygen). Protein levels of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) and angiogenic factors were measured, while RNA was extracted for PCR quantification of MMPs/tissue inhibitors of MMP (TIMPs) and angiogenic factors. Migration of RA synovial fibroblasts through collagen, and the effect of RA synovial cell supernatants in an in vitro angiogenesis assay, were utilised to determine the functional relevance of changes in mRNA/protein.
We observed upregulation under hypoxic conditions of MMPs responsible for collagen breakdown, specifically collagenase MMP-8, and the gelatinases MMP-2 and MMP-9, at both mRNA and protein levels. Increased MT1-MMP mRNA was also observed, but no effect on TIMP-1 or TIMP-2 was detected. RA fibroblast migration across collagen was significantly increased under hypoxic conditions, and was dependent on MMP activity. Furthermore, expression of angiogenic stimuli, such as vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), and VEGF/placental growth factor heterodimer, was also increased. Crucially, we show for the first time that hypoxia increased the angiogenic drive of RA cells, as demonstrated by enhanced blood vessel formation in an in vitro angiogenesis assay.
Hypoxia may be responsible for rendering RA synovial lining proangiogenic and proinvasive, thus leading to the debilitating features characteristic of RA.
Synovial fibroblasts freshly isolated from the rheumatoid joint are characterized by their marked connective tissue degradative ability. This phenotype includes the ability to secrete large amounts of the matrix-degrading metalloproteinases, collagenase, and stromelysin. We have found that another aspect of this phenotype is the constitutive expression at both protein and mRNA levels of a 92-kD gelatinolytic metalloproteinase, which is not secreted by normal dermal or lung fibroblasts and is immunologically cross-reactive with a type V collagenase expressed by activated macrophages and neutrophils. Expression of this 92-kD metalloproteinase confers upon the fibroblasts the capacity to degrade collagenase- and stromelysin-resistant interstitial elements, such as collagen types IV, V and XI. In contrast to the 92-kD metalloproteinase, a 68-kD gelatinase (type IV collagenase) was expressed by all fibroblast types studied, indicating that its regulation is distinct from that of the 92-kD gelatinase. To identify what cytokines may be important in the induction of the rheumatoid synovial phenotype, including expression of the 92-kD gelatinase, we exposed normal dermal fibroblasts to a number of cytokines including many known or considered likely to be present in rheumatoid synovial fluid and tissue. Although IL-1 beta, tumor necrosis factor-alpha, lymphotoxin, platelet-derived growth factor, and basic fibroblast growth factor were capable of stimulating fibroblasts to secrete collagenase, only tumor necrosis factor-alpha, lymphotoxin, and IL-1 beta were able to induce expression of the 92-kD gelatinase, demonstrating discordant regulation of the two metalloproteinases. Expression of the 68-kD gelatinase was independent of that of the 92-kD gelatinase, as demonstrated at the protein and mRNA levels. Late passage rheumatoid synovial fibroblasts, which no longer constitutively expressed the 92-kD gelatinase, displayed an accentuated response to IL-1 beta when compared to normal dermal fibroblasts. Thus, in addition to IL-1 beta, tumor necrosis factor-alpha or lymphotoxin may contribute to the expression of a specific rheumatoid synovial phenotype in vivo that is associated with progressive matrix destruction.