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Life Sci. 2004 Feb 6;74(12):1561-72.

Temporal changes in matrix metalloproteinase expression and inflammatory response associated with cardiac rupture after myocardial infarction in mice.

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Hypertension and Vascular Research Division, Department of Internal Medicine, Henry Ford Hospital, 2799 West Grand Boulevard, Detroit, MI 48202-2689, USA.


We previously found that male mice with myocardial infarction (MI) had a high rate of cardiac rupture, which generally occurred at 3 to 5 days after MI. Since matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) play an important role in infarct healing, tissue repair and extracellular matrix (ECM) remodeling post-MI, we studied the temporal relationship of MMP expression and inflammatory response to cardiac rupture after acute MI. Male C57BL/6J mice were subjected to MI (induced by ligating the left anterior descending coronary artery) and killed 1, 2, 4, 7 or 14 days after MI. MMP-2 and MMP-9 activity in the heart were measured by zymography. Collagen content was measured by hydroxyproline assay. We found that after MI, MMP-9 activity increased as early as 1 day and reached a maximum by 2-4 days, associated with a similar increase in neutrophil and macrophage infiltration in the infarct area. MMP-2 started to increase rapidly within 4 days, reaching a maximum by 7 days and remaining high even at 14 days. Intense macrophage infiltration appeared by 4 days after MI and then gradually decreased within 7 to 14 days. Collagen content was unchanged until 4 days after MI, at which point it increased and remained high thereafter. Our data suggest that in mice, overexpression of MMP-2 and MMP-9 (possibly expressed mainly by neutrophils and macrophages) may lead to excessive ECM degradation in the early phase of MI, impairing infarct healing and aggravating early remodeling which in turn causes cardiac rupture.

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