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Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 2003 Dec;285(6):L1222-32. Epub 2003 Aug 8.

Negative impact of tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase-3 null mutation on lung structure and function in response to sepsis.

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  • 1Department of Physiology, Lawson Health Research Institute, H417, 268 Grosvenor St., The University of Western Ontario, London, ON, Canada, N6A 4V2.


Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are degradative enzymes, which act to remodel tissue. Their activity is regulated by the tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinases (TIMPs). An imbalance in the degradation/inhibition activities has been associated with many diseases, including sepsis. We have previously shown that TIMP-3 knockout animals develop spontaneous, progressive air space enlargement. The objectives of this study were to determine the effects of a septic lung stress induced by cecal ligation and perforation (CLP) on lung function, structure, pulmonary surfactant, and inflammation in TIMP-3 null mice. Knockout and wild-type animals were randomized to either sham or CLP surgery, allowed to recover for 6 h, and then euthanized. TIMP-3 null animals exposed to sham surgery had a significant increase in lung compliance when compared with sham wild-type mice. Additionally, the TIMP-3 knockout mice showed a significant increase in compliance following CLP. Rapid compliance changes were accompanied by significantly decreased collagen and fibronectin levels and increased gelatinase (MMP-2 and -9) abundance and activation. Additionally, in situ zymography showed increased airway-associated gelatinase activity in the knockout animals enhanced following CLP. In conclusion, exposing TIMP-3 null animals to sepsis rapidly enhances the phenotypic abnormalities of these mice, due to increased MMP activity induced by CLP.

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