Zhou, Xiaoying, Hovell, Christopher J., Pawley, Susannah, Hutchings, Matthew I., Arthur, Michael J., Iredale, John P. and Benyon, R. Christopher
Expression of matrix metalloproteinase-2 and -14 persists during early resolution of experimental liver fibrosis and might contribute to fibrolysis
Liver International, 24, (5), . (doi:10.1111/j.1478-3231.2004.0946.x).
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Abstract: Background/Aims: Resolution of liver fibrosis is possible but the identity of the matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) which degrade the accumulated collagens is uncertain. We examined MMP-2 and MMP-14 expression in established and resolving fibrosis to assess their role in resolution of liver fibrosis.
Methods: MMP and tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase (TIMP)-2 expression in liver extracts was examined by ribonuclease protection assay, Western blotting and gelatin zymography. MMP activity was examined by 14C gelatin degradation.
Results: In human cirrhotic liver, MMP-14 mRNA was increased to 230–330% of normal liver expression. Both 63 kDa proenzyme and 60 kDa activated form were present. Cirrhotic livers had 270–320% of normal liver expression of MMP-2 protein with 20–25% being the 62 Da activated form. Protein and mRNA for MMP-2 and MMP-14 progressively increased during 8 weeks of CCl4 treatment in rats. Between 3 and 7 days of resolution from CCl4 liver fibrosis, MMP-2 and MMP-14 persisted at elevated levels. Gelatinolytic activity in liver homogenates peaked at 7 days of recovery, being 140% above that in livers at peak fibrosis.
Conclusions: Increased expression and activation of MMP-2 and -14 occurs even under conditions of elevated TIMPs during liver fibrogenesis. During liver fibrosis resolution, as TIMP expression decays, the persistence of MMP-2 and MMP-14 may permit collagen degradation.
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