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J Neuroinflammation. 2011 Sep 9;8:115. doi: 10.1186/1742-2094-8-115.

Activation of matrix metalloproteinases following anti-Aβ immunotherapy; implications for microhemorrhage occurrence.

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  • 1University of Kentucky Sanders-Brown Center on Aging, Department of Physiology, Lexington, KY 40536, USA. donna.wilcock@uky.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Anti-Aβ immunotherapy is a promising approach to the prevention and treatment of Alzheimer's disease (AD) currently in clinical trials. There is extensive evidence, both in mice and humans that a significant adverse event is the occurrence of microhemorrhages. Also, vasogenic edema was reported in phase 2 of a passive immunization clinical trial. In order to overcome these vascular adverse effects it is critical that we understand the mechanism(s) by which they occur.

METHODS:

We have examined the matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) protein degradation system in two previously published anti-Aβ immunotherapy studies. The first was a passive immunization study in which we examined 22 month old APPSw mice that had received anti-Aβ antibodies for 1, 2 or 3 months. The second is an active vaccination study in which we examined 16 month old APPSw/NOS2-/- mice treated with Aβ vaccination for 4 months.

RESULTS:

There is a significant activation of the MMP2 and MMP9 proteinase degradation systems by anti-Aβ immunotherapy, regardless of whether this is delivered through active vaccination or passive immunization. We have characterized this activation by gene expression, protein expression and zymography assessment of MMP activity.

CONCLUSIONS:

Since the MMP2 and MMP9 systems are heavily implicated in the pathophysiology of intracerbral hemorrhage, these data may provide a potential mechanism of microhemorrhage due to immunotherapy. Increased activity of the MMP system, therefore, is likely to be a major factor in increased microhemorrhage occurrence.

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