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More MS news articles for March 2003

Serum MMP-2 and MMP-9 are elevated in different multiple sclerosis subtypes

J Neuroimmunol 2003 Mar;136(1-2):46-53
Avolio C, Ruggieri M, Giuliani F, Liuzzi GM, Leante R, Riccio P, Livrea P, Trojano M.
Neurology Unit, University of Foggia, Foggia, Italy

In multiple sclerosis (MS), matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) activity in tissues is the result of a balance between MMPs and their tissue inhibitors (TIMPs).

MMP-9 predominates in acute MS lesions and is inhibited by TIMP-1, while MMP-2 may participate in the remodeling of the extracellular matrix (ECM) such as in chronic disease and is inhibited by TIMP-2.

These differences may be reflected in serum and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF).

We have tried to characterize MMP-2 and MMP-9 activities, in relation to their respective TIMPs, 2 and 1, as a factor of different types of the disease, as this information was not previously clearly stated.

We found the MMP-2/TIMP-2 ratio in serum to show higher values in secondary progressive (SP, p=0.02) and primary progressive (PP, p=0.01) MS than short disease duration (SDD) relapsing-remitting (RR) MS, but not different from the healthy control (HC) group.

Whereas the MMP-9/TIMP-1 ratio in serum showed higher (p=0.04) values in SDD RR MS than PP but also in active patients, evaluated either clinically (p=0.006) or from the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI, p<0.05), compared to inactive disease.

CSF MMP to TIMP ratios did not differ between MS subtypes, suggesting systemic rather CNS-restricted changes.

These results show that an increase in MMP-2/TIMP-2 ratio marks chronic progression in MS, but it is as high as in HC, and also confirm that high MMP-9 activity characterizes short duration relapsing and active forms of the disease.