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Circ Res. 1998 Mar 9;82(4):482-95.

Time-dependent changes in matrix metalloproteinase activity and expression during the progression of congestive heart failure: relation to ventricular and myocyte function.

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Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston 29425, USA.


The development of congestive heart failure (CHF) is associated with left ventricular (LV) dilation and myocardial remodeling. However, fundamental mechanisms that contribute to this remodeling process with the progression of CHF remain unclear. The matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) have been demonstrated to play a significant role in tissue remodeling in a number of pathological processes. The present project tested the hypothesis that the LV dilation and remodeling during the progression of CHF is associated with early changes in MMP expression and zymographic activity. LV and myocyte function, collagen content, and MMP expression and zymographic activity were serially measured during the progression of CHF caused by pacing-induced supraventricular tachycardia (SVT) in pigs. After 7 days of SVT, LV end-diastolic dimension and myocyte length both increased by 15% from control values, and LV fractional shortening fell by 20%. At the level of the myocyte, percent shortening fell by 16% after 7 days of SVT, with no change in the steady-state velocity of shortening. Longer durations of SVT caused progressive LV dilation, LV pump failure, and myocyte contractile dysfunction. Specifically, 21 days of SVT resulted in a >50% increase in LV dimension, a 56% fall in LV fractional shortening, and a 33% decline in myocyte velocity of shortening. The decline in LV and myocyte function with 21 days of SVT was accompanied by signs and symptoms of CHF. Thus, SVT causes time-dependent changes in LV geometry and function and the subsequent development of CHF. LV myocardial collagen content and confluence fell by >25% after 7 days of SVT and were accompanied by an 80% increase in LV myocardial MMP zymographic activity against the substrate gelatin. After 14 days of SVT, total LV myocardial collagen content was reduced by 24%, and LV myocardial MMP zymographic activity increased by >100% from control values. Interstitial collagenase (MMP-1), stromelysin (MMP-3), and 72-kD gelatinase (MMP-2) were increased by approximately 2-fold after 7 days of SVT. LV MMP zymographic activity and abundance remained elevated with longer durations of SVT. The results of the present study demonstrated that in this model of CHF, early changes in LV myocardial MMP zymographic activity and protein levels occurred with the initiation and progression of LV dilation and dysfunction. These findings suggest that an early contributory mechanism for the initiation of LV remodeling that occurred in this model of developing CHF is enhanced expression and potentially increased activity of LV myocardial MMPs.

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