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Biochem J. 1993 Dec 15;296 ( Pt 3):803-9.

Regulation of matrix metalloproteinase expression in human vein and microvascular endothelial cells. Effects of tumour necrosis factor alpha, interleukin 1 and phorbol ester.

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  • 1Gaubius Laboratory IVVO-TNO, Leiden, The Netherlands.


Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) play a role in tissue remodelling and angiogenesis. We have investigated the expression and regulation of MMP-1 (interstitial collagenase), MMP-2 (gelatinase A), MMP-3 (stromelysin 1), MMP-7 (matrilysin), MMP-9 (gelatinase B) and their inhibitors TIMP-1 and TIMP-2 in human umbilical vein, femoral vein and microvascular endothelial cells, and compared these data with those obtained with human synovial fibroblasts. Non-stimulated vein endothelial cells expressed the mRNAs for MMP-1, MMP-2, TIMP-1 and TIMP-2. MMP-3 mRNA and protein were undetectable or only weakly expressed, but could be stimulated by the inflammatory mediator tumour necrosis factor alpha (TNF alpha). The expression of MMP-3 and MMP-1 was further enhanced by phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA). Phorbol ester also induced TIMP-1 and MMP-9, the expression of the latter being further enhanced by TNF alpha or interleukin 1 alpha (IL-1 alpha). Similar stimulatory effects were observed in microvascular endothelial cells. Hence the inflammatory mediator TNF alpha induces/enhances the production of several matrix metalloproteinases in human endothelial cells. On the other hand, MMP-2 and TIMP-2 were not affected or were affected in a variable way by TNF alpha and/or phorbol ester, suggesting a dissimilar regulation of these proteins. The cyclic AMP-enhancing agent forskolin affected the production of MMPs in a cell-type-specific way. In human vein endothelial cells it enhanced the PMA-mediated induction of MMP-9, whereas it suppressed this induction in human microvascular endothelial cells and in synovial fibroblasts. On the other hand, forskolin suppressed the PMA-mediated induction of MMP-1 and MMP-3 in synovial fibroblasts, while it enhanced or did not affect this induction in various types of human endothelial cells. These observations may have implications for future pharmacological intervention in angiogenesis.

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