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Exp Neurol. 2007 May;205(1):74-81. Epub 2007 Feb 12.

Matrix metalloproteinase-9 regulates TNF-alpha and FasL expression in neuronal, glial cells and its absence extends life in a transgenic mouse model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

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Department of Neurology and Neuroscience, Weill Medical College of Cornell University, 525 East 68th Street, New York, NY 10021, USA. <>


Whether increased levels of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) correspond to a role in the pathogenesis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) needs to be determined and it is actively being pursued. Here we present evidence suggesting that MMP-9 contributes to the motor neuron cell death in ALS. We examined the role of MMP-9 in a mouse model of familial ALS and found that lack of MMP-9 increased survival (31%) in G93A SOD1 mice. Also, MMP-9 deficiency in G93A mice significantly attenuated neuronal loss, and reduced neuronal TNF-alpha and FasL immunoreactivities in the lumbar spinal cord. These findings suggest that MMP-9 is an important player in the pathogenesis of ALS. Our data suggest that the mechanism for MMP-9 neurotoxicity in ALS may be by upregulating neuronal TNF-alpha and FasL expression and activation. This study provides new mechanism and suggests that MMP inhibitors may offer a new therapeutic strategy for ALS.

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