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Exp Mol Pathol. 2011 Oct;91(2):603-7. doi: 10.1016/j.yexmp.2011.07.001. Epub 2011 Jul 21.

MMP-9 activity is increased by adiponectin in primary human hepatocytes but even negatively correlates with serum adiponectin in a rodent model of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis.

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Department of Internal Medicine I, Regensburg University Hospital, D-93042 Regensburg, Germany.


Adiponectin protects from inflammation and fibrosis in metabolic liver disease. In the present study we analyzed whether this adipokine may directly affect the activity of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), central regulators of fibrinolysis, in hepatocytes. Global gene expression analysis indicated upregulation of MMP-9 and tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases-1 (TIMP-1) expression in primary human hepatocytes (PHH) in response to stimulation with adiponectin, and these results were confirmed by real-time RT-PCR. Furthermore, gelatin zymography revealed that MMP-9 activity was significantly induced in supernatants of adiponectin stimulated PHHs. In a murine model of hepatic steatosis and in human steatotic liver samples hepatic MMP-9 activity was not significantly altered. However, in two different murine models of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) MMP-9 activity was significantly elevated compared to chow fed control mice. Of note, MMP-9 activity did not or even negatively, respectively, correlate with adiponectin serum levels in these models. The current data indicate that in NASH hepatic inflammation and fibrosis but not hepatic steatosis induce liver MMP-9 activity, and this induction seems to be related to the anti-inflammatory activity of adiponectin rather than its effect on hepatocellular MMP-9 expression.

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