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J Appl Physiol (1985). 2013 Sep;115(6):884-91. doi: 10.1152/japplphysiol.00137.2013. Epub 2013 May 2.

MMP inhibition as a potential method to augment the healing of skeletal muscle and tendon extracellular matrix.

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Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, Michigan;


The extracellular matrix (ECM) of skeletal muscle and tendon is composed of different types of collagen molecules that play important roles in the transmission of forces throughout the body, and in the repair and regeneration of injured tissues. Fibroblasts are the primary cells in muscle and tendon that maintain, repair, and modify the ECM in response to mechanical loading, injury, and inactivity. Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are enzymes that digest collagen and other structural molecules, which are synthesized and excreted by fibroblasts. MMPs are required for baseline ECM homeostasis, but disruption of MMP regulation due to injury or disease can alter the normal ECM architecture and prevent proper force transmission. Chronic injuries and diseases of muscles and tendons can be severely debilitating, and current therapeutic modalities to enhance healing are quite limited. This review will discuss the mechanobiology of MMPs, and the potential use of MMP inhibitors to improve the treatment of injured and diseased skeletal muscle and tendon tissue.


MMP; TIMP; collagen; extracellular matrix; muscle injury; tendinopathy

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