More MS news articles for Oct 2001

Plasminogen activators in multiple sclerosis lesions: Implications for the inflammatory response and axonal damage

Brain 2001 Oct;124(Pt 10):1978-88 Related Articles, Books, LinkOut
Gveric D, Hanemaaijer R, Newcombe J, van Lent NA, Sier CF, Cuzner ML.
Department of Neurochemistry, Institute of Neurology, University College London, UK, Gaubius Laboratory, TNO-PG, Leiden, The Netherlands and Department of Molecular Medicine, DIBIT, San Raffaele Scientific Institute, Milan, Italy.

Components of the plasminogen activator (PA) and matrix metalloprotease (MMP) cascade have been characterized in multiple sclerosis lesions by immunohistochemistry, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and enzyme activity assays in order to establish a functional role for the enzyme sequence in lesion development.

Highly significant quantitative increases in urokinase PA (uPA), urokinase receptor (uPAR) and plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 were detected in acute multiple sclerosis lesions (P < 0.0001) and in uPAR in normal-appearing white matter (P < 0.0001) compared with control tissue. All three proteins were immunolocalized to mononuclear cells in perivascular cuffs and to macrophages in the lesion parenchyma.

MMP-9 and the tissue inhibitor of metalloprotease-1 also increased during lesion development but the enzyme was present largely in the inactive pro-form.

In contrast to uPA, the concentration and activity of tissue PA (tPA), the most abundant plasminogen activator in normal control brain, were reduced in multiple sclerosis specimens.

In acute lesions tPA co-localized with fibrin(ogen) on large diameter axons also stained with SMI-32, an immunohistochemical marker of axonal damage.

The uPA-uPAR complex, concentrated on inflammatory cells in the perivascular zone of the evolving lesion, may facilitate cellular infiltration into the CNS which is amplified by MMP- mediated degradation of blood vessel matrix.

tPA localization on injured axons may be a marker of axonal damage or represent a protective mechanism aimed at removal of fibrin deposits and restoration of axonal function.

PMID: 11571216 [PubMed - in process]