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Clin Neurol Neurosurg. 2006 Feb;108(2):124-8.

Matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) and tissue inhibitor of matrix metalloproteinase (TIMP-1) in patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis treated with interferon beta.

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  • 1Department of Neurology, Faculty of Medicine, Karadeniz Technical University, 61080 Trabzon, Turkey.



Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), particularly MMP-9, facilitate T-cell migration into the central nervous system. They play a key role in the disruption of the blood-brain barrier (BBB) and thus in the pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis. Interferon beta's (IFNbeta) ability to alter the balance between MMP-9 and MMP-9s natural inhibitor, tissue inhibitor of matrix metalloproteinase-1 (TIMP-1), may play a role in stabilizing the BBB. The aim of this study, was to evaluate serum MMP-9 and TIMP-1 and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) TIMP-1 levels in patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) treated with IFNbeta-1a.


Blood and CSF samples from 14 patients with RRMS before and 6 months after IFNbeta therapy and 14 age and sex-matched controls were obtained. Levels of MMP-9 and TIMP-1 were measured using ELISA.


Before treatment, patients with MS had higher levels of serum MMP-9 and a higher MMP-9/TIMP-1 ratio than the controls. Although serum levels of TIMP-1 were lower in RRMS patients than in the controls, the differences did not reach statistical significance. CSF levels of TIMP-1 were significantly lower in RRMS patients. In the sixth month of IFNbeta therapy serum MMP-9 and the MMP-9/TIMP-1 ratio were significantly decreased, whereas the changes in serum TIMP-1 were not statistically significant. There was a significant increase in CSF TIMP-1 levels in the sixth month of IFNbeta therapy.


Our result shows that RRMS patients have an impaired MMP-9 and TIMP-1 balance, and that 6 months of IFNbeta therapy is beneficial in restoring this balance.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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