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J Immunol. 2005 Aug 15;175(4):2589-97.

Matrix metalloproteinase-8 deficiency promotes granulocytic allergen-induced airway inflammation.

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Department of Pneumology, Center for Biomedical Integrative Genoproteomic, University of Liege, Belgium.


Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are involved in inflammatory reaction, including asthma-related airway inflammation. MMP-8, mainly produced by neutrophils, has recently been reported to be increased in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) from asthmatic patients. To evaluate the role of MMP-8 in asthma, we measured MMP-8 expression in lung tissue in an OVA-sensitized mouse model of asthma and addressed the effect of MMP-8 deletion on allergen-induced bronchial inflammation. MMP-8 production was increased in lungs from C57BL/6 mice exposed to allergens. After allergen exposure, MMP-8(-/-) mice developed an airway inflammation characterized by an increased neutrophilic inflammation in BALF and an increased neutrophilic and eosinophilic infiltration in the airway walls. MMP-8 deficiency was associated with increased levels of IL-4 and anti-OVA IgE and IgG1 in BALF and serum, respectively. Although allergen exposure induced an enhancement of LPS-induced CXC chemokine, KC, and MIP-2 levels in BALF and lung parenchyma, no difference was observed between the two genotypes. Inflammatory cell apoptosis was reduced in the lungs from MMP-8(-/-) mice. For the first time, our study evidences an important role of MMP-8 in the control of neutrophilic and eosinophilic infiltration during allergen-induced lung inflammation, and demonstrates that the anti-inflammatory effect of MMP-8 is partly due to a regulation of inflammatory cell apoptosis.

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