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J Biol Chem. 2009 Jan 16;284(3):1765-71. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M806239200. Epub 2008 Nov 14.

Membrane-type 1 matrix metalloproteinase regulates macrophage-dependent elastolytic activity and aneurysm formation in vivo.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, Nebraska, 68198, USA.


During arterial aneurysm formation, levels of the membrane-anchored matrix metalloproteinase, MT1-MMP, are elevated dramatically. Although MT1-MMP is expressed predominately by infiltrating macrophages, the roles played by the proteinase in abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) formation in vivo remain undefined. Using a newly developed chimeric mouse model of AAA, we now demonstrate that macrophage-derived MT1-MMP plays a dominant role in disease progression. In wild-type mice transplanted with MT1-MMP-null marrow, aneurysm formation induced by the application of CaCl2 to the aortic surface was almost completely ablated. Macrophage infiltration into the aortic media was unaffected by MT1-MMP deletion, and AAA formation could be reconstituted when MT1-MMP+/+ macrophages, but not MT1-MMP+/+ lymphocytes, were infused into MT1-MMP-null marrow recipients. In vitro studies using macrophages isolated from either WT/MT1-MMP-/- chimeric mice, MMP-2-null mice, or MMP-9-null mice demonstrate that MT1-MMP alone plays a dominant role in macrophage-mediated elastolysis. These studies demonstrate that destruction of the elastin fiber network during AAA formation is dependent on macrophage-derived MT1-MMP, which unexpectedly serves as a direct-acting regulator of macrophage proteolytic activity.

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