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Ann Biol Clin (Paris). 2003 Mar-Apr;61(2):147-58.

[Matrix metalloproteinases and atherosclerosis. Therapeutic aspects].

[Article in French]

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  • 1Service de biochimie C, Group hospitalier Pitié-Salpêtrière, AP-HP, 47-83 boulevard de l'hôpital, 75651 Paris cedex 13. jean-louis.beaudeux@psl.ap-hop-paris.fr


Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) play a key role in the physiology of connective tissue development, morphogenesis and wound healing, but their unregulated activity has been implicated in numerous disease processes including arthritis, tumor cell metastasis and atherosclerosis. MMP family consists of at least 20 members; MMPs are produced by the different cell types (vascular smooth muscle cells, monocytes, endothelial cells) involved in the atheromatous plaque formation and participate to extracellular matrix remodelling and cell infiltration or migration. Since excessive tissue remodelling and increased matrix metalloproteinase activity have been demonstrated during atherosclerotic lesion progression (including plaque disruption), MMPs represent a potential target for therapeutic intervention to modify vascular pathology, by restoring the MMP/TIMP physiological equilibrium. This review highlights the structures of MMPs and their physiological inhibitors, the Tissue Inhibitors of MMPs (TIMPs), and describes the current developments in pharmacological MMP inhibition.

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