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J Dent Res. 1996 Mar;75(3):919-26.

Effects of dexamethasone and cell proliferation on the expression of matrix metalloproteinases in human mucosal normal and malignant cells.

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  • 1Institute of Dentistry, University of Oulu, Finland.


Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) have an important role in many biological processes, such as tumor metastasis, wound healing, and inflammation. The regulation of MMPs and their inhibitors is still not known in detail, and the aim of this study was to investigate the effects of dexamethasone on cultured oral benign and malignant cell lines. The expression of MMPs in culture was studied: in four gingival (GF) and one periodontal ligament (PLF) fibroblast cell lines; in six gingival keratinocyte (GK) cell lines; and in UNR (UNR-108, rat osteogenic sarcoma) and SCC (SCC-25, human tongue squamous cell carcinoma) cell lines. In the GFs, PLFs, and UNR cells, only MMP-2 (72 kDa gelatinase) was detected by gelatin zymography, while in most of the GK cell lines only MMP-9 (92 kDa gelatinase) was observed. In confluent SCC cultures, both MMP-2 and MMP-9 were found, while only MMP-2 was seen in rapidly growing SCC cells, demonstrating that cell proliferation influenced gelatinase expression in these cells, but not in the other cell lines studied. Dexamethasone at concentrations of 10(-5) mol/L and 10(-7) mol/L decreased the production of gelatinases in the GFs and PLFs, but not in the GKs, SCC, or UNR cells. The expression of mRNAs for matrix metalloproteinases (MMP-1 [interstitial collagenase] and MMP-2) and their inhibitors (TIMP-1 and TIMP-2) was also studied in the GFs by Northern hybridization. Dexamethasone markedly decreased the amount of MMP-2 mRNA in the GFs. The mRNA level of MMP-1 decreased even more in the same GFs. The mRNA levels for TIMP-1 and TIMP-2 were also decreased by dexamethasone in the GFs. Cell proliferation influenced the degree to which dexamethasone decreased these mRNA levels. The results indicate that glucocorticoids decrease the levels of MMPs and TIMPs in oral fibroblastic cells, whereas they do not appear to affect the production of gelatinases in either normal or malignant oral epithelial cell lines.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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