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Cardiovasc Res. 2006 Feb 15;69(3):604-13. Epub 2005 Dec 19.

Relevance of matrix metalloproteinases and their inhibitors after myocardial infarction: a temporal and spatial window.

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Molecular and Vascular Biology and Center for Transgene Technology and Gene Therapy, University of Leuven, Belgium.


The post-myocardial infarction wound repair process involves temporarily overlapping phases that include inflammation, formation of granulation tissue, scar formation, and overall left ventricle (LV) remodelling. The myocardial extracellular matrix (ECM) plays an important role in maintaining the structural and functional integrity of the heart and is centrally involved in wound repair post-myocardial infarction (MI). The main proteolytic system involved in the degradation of the ECM in the heart is the matrix metalloproteinase (MMPs) system. The present review will focus on the importance of the unique temporal and spatial window of MMPs and their inhibitors (TIMPs) within the different wound healing phases post-MI. It summarizes (1) the MMP/TIMP levels at different time points post-MI, (2) the alterations seen in post-MI healing in genetically modified mice, and (3) the effects and limitations of therapeutic MMP-inhibition post-MI.

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