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Neurosci Bull. 2013 Feb;29(1):83-93. doi: 10.1007/s12264-012-1296-5. Epub 2013 Jan 10.

Antisense MMP-9 RNA inhibits malignant glioma cell growth in vitro and in vivo.

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Department of Neuropathology, Tianjin Neurological Institute, Tianjin Medical University General Hospital, Tianjin, 300052, China.


The matrix-degrading metalloproteinases (MMPs), particularly MMP-9, play important roles in the pathogenesis and development of malignant gliomas. In the present study, the oncogenic role of MMP-9 in malignant glioma cells was investigated via antisense RNA blockade in vitro and in vivo. TJ905 malignant glioma cells were transfected with pcDNA3.0 vector expressing antisense MMP-9 RNA (pcDNA-ASMMP9), which significantly decreased MMP-9 expression, and cell proliferation was assessed. For in vivo studies, U251 cells, a human malignant glioma cell line, were implanted subcutaneously into 4- to 6-week-old BALB/c nude mice. The mice bearing well-established U251 gliomas were treated with intratumoral pcDNA-AS-MMP9-Lipofectamine complex (AS-MMP-9-treated group), subcutaneous injection of endostatin (endostatin-treated group), or both (combined therapy group). Mice treated with pcDNA (empty vector)-Lipofectamine served as the control group. Four or eight weeks later, the volume and weight of tumor, MMP-9 expression, microvessel density and proliferative activity were assayed. We demonstrate that pcDNA-AS-MMP9 significantly decreased MMP-9 expression and inhibited glioma cell proliferation. Volume and weight of tumor, MMP-9 expression, microvessel density and proliferative activity in the antisense-MMP-9-treated and therapeutic alliance groups were significantly lower than those in the control group. The results suggest that MMP-9 not only promotes malignant glioma cell invasiveness, but also affects tumor cell proliferation. Blocking the expression of MMP-9 with antisense RNA substantially suppresses the malignant phenotype of glioma cells, and thus can be used as an effective therapeutic strategy for malignant gliomas.

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