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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2009 Feb 27;380(1):17-21. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2008.12.181. Epub 2009 Jan 9.

PPARgamma agonist pioglitazone reduces matrix metalloproteinase-9 activity and neuronal damage after focal cerebral ischemia.

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Department of Pharmacology, School of Medicine and Brain Research Institute, Keimyung University, Taegu, South Korea.


Pioglitazone, a peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARgamma) agonist, has shown protective effects against ischemic insult in various tissues. Pioglitazone is also reported to reduce matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) activity. MMPs can remodel extracellular matrix components in many pathological conditions. The current study was designed to investigate whether the neuroprotection of pioglitazone is related to its MMP inhibition in focal cerebral ischemia. Mice were subjected to 90 min focal ischemia and reperfusion. In gel zymography, pioglitazone reduced the upregulation of active form of MMP-9 after ischemia. In in situ zymograms, pioglitazone also reduced the gelatinase activity induced by ischemia. After co-incubation with pioglitazone, in situ gelatinase activity was directly reduced. Pioglitazone reduced the infarct volume significantly compared with controls. These results demonstrate that pioglitazone may reduce MMP-9 activity and neuronal damage following focal ischemia. The reduction of MMP-9 activity may have a possible therapeutic effect for the management of brain injury after focal ischemia.

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