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Diabetologia. 2003 Oct;46(10):1438-45. Epub 2003 Aug 20.

Gelatinase B(MMP-9) an apoptotic factor in diabetic transgenic mice.

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Department of Physiology and Biophysics, University of Louisville, 500 South Preston Street, Louisville, KY 40292, USA.



Although matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) is specifically induced and apoptosis of endothelial cells is evidenced in diabetes mellitus, the mechanism of endocardial endothelial dysfunction in diabetes mellitus is not clear. The increase in MMP-9 activity is associated with endocardial endothelial apoptosis and dysfunction in diabetes mellitus.


Diabetes was created by injecting 65 mg/kg alloxan in tail vein of MMP-9 knockout (-/-) and wild-type (WT, C57BL/J6) mice. At 8 weeks mice were grouped: (i) WT+saline; (ii) WT+alloxan; (iii) MMP+saline; (iv) MMP+alloxan. The MMP-9 genotype was determined by observing single PCR product of different mobility than the PCR product from wild-type in blood from tail vein.


MMP-9 activity, measured by zymography, increased in plasma and in the left ventricle of alloxan-induced diabetic wild-type mice. The concentrations of cardiac inhibitor of metalloproteinase, that blocks MMP-9 activity, were decreased in diabetic MMP-9 knockouts as well as in wild-type mice. Diabetes induced apoptosis, detected by TUNEL assays, in wild-type but not in MMP-9 knockouts. Endocardial endothelial function was severely impaired in diabetic wild-type mice compared with normoglycaemic animals, while non-diabetic MMP-9 knockout mice showed partial endocardial endothelial dysfunction which was not further exacerbated by the developments of diabetes.


The results suggest an association between increased MMP-9 activity and endocardial endothelial apoptosis in diabetic mice, while genetic ablation of MMP-9 correlated with amelioration of endocardial endothelial dysfunction and apoptosis.

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