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J Cell Biochem. 1996 Mar 1;60(3):379-86.

Temporal study of the activity of matrix metalloproteinases and their endogenous inhibitors during wound healing.

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1
Children's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.

Abstract

The restoration of functional connective tissue is a major goal of the wound healing process. This regenerative event requires the deposition and accumulation of collagenous and noncollagenous matrix molecules as well as the remodelling of extracellular matrix (ECM) by matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs). In this study, we have utilized substrate gel electrophoresis, radiometric enzyme assays, and Western blot analyses to determine the temporal pattern of appearance and activity of active and latent MMPs and their inhibitors during the entire healing process in a partial thickness wound model. Through the use of substrate gel electrophoresis, we studied the appearance of proteolytic bands whose molecular weight was consistent with their being members of the MMP family of enzymes. Proteolytic bands whose molecular weight is consistent with both the active and latent forms of MMP-2 (72 kDa, Type IV gelatinase) were detected in wound fluid of days 1-7 after wounding. The number of active MMP-2 species detectable in wound fluid was greatest during days 4-6 after wounding. The most prominent proteolytic band detected each day migrated with a molecular weight consistent with it being the latent form of MMP-9 (92 kDa, Type V pro-collagenase). In contrast to MMP-2, the active form of this enzyme was never detected. The presence of MMP-1 (interstitial collagenase) was detected by immunoblot in the wound fluid from days 1-6 post-injury. Using a radiometric enzyme assay for collagenase inhibitory activity we have also determined the time course of activity of endogenous matrix metalloproteinase inhibitors. We have correlated these data to the known cellular events occurring in the wound during this time period as well. This study establishes a prototypical pattern of MMP appearance in normal wound healing. It may also provide potential intervention sites for the therapeutic use of inhibitors of aberrant MMP activities which characterize chronic wounds.

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