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Blood Cells Mol Dis. 2008 Sep-Oct;41(2):179-87. doi: 10.1016/j.bcmd.2008.03.005. Epub 2008 May 19.

Hematopoiesis in mice is extremely resilient to wide variation in TIMP/MMP balance.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, Division of Hematology-Oncology, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH 44106, USA.


Tissue inhibitors of matrix metalloproteinases (TIMPs) are natural inhibitors of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) and are associated with normal and pathologic extracellular matrix turnover. Because the microenvironment is critical for normal hematopoietic stem/progenitor cell function, we aimed to determine whether alterations in the TIMP/MMP balance impact upon normal hematopoiesis in mice. We have used both overexpression and knockout mouse models to determine whether early hematopoiesis is susceptible to potentially pathologic changes in TIMP/MMP level. These studies used TIMP-1(-/-) mice and retroviral vectors co-expressing human TIMP-1 or TIMP-2 linked with the green fluorescent protein (GFP) transduced into bone marrow (BM) cells and transplanted into lethally-irradiated recipient mice. Loss of TIMP-1 in knockout mice or retroviral overexpression of TIMP-1 or TIMP-2 did not alter hematopoietic stem/progenitor function during steady-state hematopoiesis. Surprisingly, even when applying hematopoietic stress through mobilization, chemotaxis, or myelosuppression, murine hematopoiesis was not adversely affected by TIMP-1 or TIMP-2 level. We conclude that TIMP/MMP balance alone does not exert significant influence on blood cell development and homeostasis. An important corollary of these studies is that specific modulation using MMP inhibitors for cancer or immunologic therapy is unlikely to have adverse hematopoietic side effects.

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