Send to

Choose Destination
Int J Mol Med. 2005 Jan;15(1):57-65.

Expression of matrix metalloproteinase 9 and its regulators in the unstable coronary atherosclerotic plaque.

Author information

Crafoord Laboratory, South Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden.


Unstable coronary syndromes, initiated by rupture of an atherosclerotic plaque, may involve the activation of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs). The regulation of MMP activity is complex and involves three steps. First, an inactive pro-MMP is transcriptionally regulated, a process that is likely to involve the transcription factor activator protein-1 (AP-1) and nuclear factor kappa B (NF-kappaB). Secondly, the pro-MMP is proteolytically cleaved into an active MMP. Plasmin has been suggested to be the major activator of MMPs in vivo. Thirdly, the activated MMP can be inhibited by tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinase (TIMPs). We investigated if expression of MMP9 and its potential regulators are induced in unstable coronary plaques. Atherosclerotic plaques from patients with stable (n=22) and unstable (n=39) angina were obtained by directional coronary atherectomy and analysed by semiquantitative RT-PCR and immunohisto-chemistry. Plasma was collected for ELISA analysis. mRNA for MMP9 as well as plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1) was increased in unstable plaques, while tissue type plasminogen activator (tPA) expression was similar in stable and unstable plaques. Plaques from unstable patients had an increased infiltration of macrophages and T-lymphocytes, nuclear localisation of AP-1 and the NF-kappaB subunit p65, as well as increased positive immunostaining for MMP9 and tPA. Plasma MMP9 antigen was elevated in unstable patients. MMP9 is expressed in the unstable coronary atherosclerotic plaque, as are its transcriptional and posttranscriptional regulators.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Spandidos Publications
Loading ...
Support Center