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Ocul Surf. 2005 Oct;3(4 Suppl):S198-202.

Matrix metalloproteinases in corneal inflammation.

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Ocular Surface Center, Cullen Eye Institute, Department of Ophthalmology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, USA.


Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are a family of calcium-dependent, zinc-containing endoproteinases capable of degrading the extracellular matrix and basement membrane. Many inflammatory stimuli, such as wound healing, ultraviolet, hyperosmolarity, and stress, can stimulate production of inflammatory cytokines and a variety of MMPs, including gelatinases, collagenases, and stromelysins. Pro-inflammatory cytokines and growth factors can further promote the production of MMPs. Thus, MMPs participate in and promote the inflammation process. MMP-9 may be a most important amplifying factor for corneal inflammation. Mitogen activated protein kinases are involved in MMPs amplified inflammation. These pathway studies provide new therapeutic potential to block MMP mediated inflammation.


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