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Nephrol Dial Transplant. 2013 Jan;28(1):55-62. doi: 10.1093/ndt/gfs387. Epub 2012 Sep 30.

Experimental diabetic nephropathy is accelerated in matrix metalloproteinase-2 knockout mice.

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  • 1Division of Nephrology, Department of Medicine, Kurume University School of Medicine, Kurume, Fukuoka, Japan.



Matrix metalloproteinase-2 (MMP-2) is responsible for the degradation of various types of extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins such as type IV collagen. Decreased MMP-2 expression and activity has been generally thought to contribute to increased accumulation of ECM at the advanced stage of diabetic nephropathy. However, the kinetics and role of MMP-2 in the early phase of diabetic nephropathy remain unclear. To address this issue, we examined whether streptozotocin (STZ)-induced early diabetic nephropathy was accelerated in MMP-2 knockout (KO) mice.


Diabetes was induced by the injection of STZ in 6-week-old control and MMP-2 KO mice. Animals were killed after 16 weeks of diabetes of after observation alone.


Compared with non-diabetic control mice, renal MMP-2 expression and activity were increased in 16-week old diabetic mice. Serum levels of blood urea nitrogen and creatinine and urinary excretion levels of albumin and N-acetyl-β-D-glucosaminidase were significantly elevated in diabetic MMP-2 KO mice when compared with wild-type diabetic littermates. Further, accumulation of ECM in the glomeruli and atrophy and fibrosis in the tubulointerstitium were exacerbated, and renal α-smooth muscle actin expression was enhanced in diabetic MMP-2 KO mice.


Our present study suggests that renal expression and activity of MMP-2 are increased as a compensatory mechanism in the early phase of diabetic nephropathy. Since MMP-2 could play a protective role against the progression of diabetic nephropathy, further enhancement of MMP-2 expression and/or activity in the kidney may be a therapeutic target for the treatment of early diabetic nephropathy.

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