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Brain Res. 2006 May 9;1088(1):19-30. Epub 2006 Apr 21.

ADAMTS-1 and -4 are up-regulated following transient middle cerebral artery occlusion in the rat and their expression is modulated by TNF in cultured astrocytes.

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Biomedical Research Centre, Faculty of Health and Wellbeing, Sheffield Hallam University, Howard Street, Sheffield S1 1WB, UK.


ADAMTS (a disintegrin and metalloproteinase with thrombospondin motifs) enzymes are a recently described group of metalloproteinases. The substrates degraded by ADAMTS-1, -4 and -5 suggest that they play a role in turnover of extracellular matrix in the central nervous system (CNS). ADAMTS-1 is also known to exhibit anti-angiogenic activity. Their main endogenous inhibitor is tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases (TIMP)-3. The present study was designed to investigate ADAMTS-1, -4 and -5 and TIMP-3 expression after experimental cerebral ischaemia and to examine whether cytokines known to be up-regulated in stroke could alter their expression by astrocytes in vitro. Focal cerebral ischaemia was induced by transient middle cerebral artery occlusion in the rat using the filament method. Our results demonstrate a significant increase in expression of ADAMTS-1 and -4 in the occluded hemisphere but no significant change in TIMP-3. This was accompanied by an increase in mRNA levels for interleukin (IL)-1beta, IL-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1ra) and tumour necrosis factor (TNF). ADAMTS-4 mRNA and protein were up-regulated by TNF in primary human astrocyte cultures. The increased ADAMTS-1 and -4 in experimental stroke, together with no change in TIMP-3, may promote ECM breakdown after stroke, enabling infiltration of inflammatory cells and contributing to brain injury. In vitro studies suggest that the in vivo modulation of ADAMTS-1 and -4 may be controlled in part by TNF.

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