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Metalloproteinases – their Role in Inflammatory Processes and Central Nervous System Diseases

Kinga Bobińska

Department of Adult Psychiatry, Medical University of Łódź, Łódź, Poland

Med Sci Rev 2015; 2:35-40

DOI: 10.12659/MSRev.894260

Available online:

Published: 2015-05-13


ABSTRACT: MMPs belong to zinc endopeptidases. MMPs degrade a wide spectrum of extracellular matrix proteins and are constitutively expressed in a large number of cell and tissue types. The physiological role of MMP includes angiogenesis, embryogenesis and tissue remodelling by proliferation, migration, differentiation and adhesion. In pathological processes MMP has been indicated in Alzheimer disease, cancers, and cardiovascular diseases.
MMPs degrade numerous receptors on the surface of cells as well as activate and deactivate growth factors, cytokines and chemokines. These processes prove why MMP has been shown to modulate inflammation. Metalloproteinases (MMPs) have a direct and indirect effect on the Blood Brain Barrier (BBB) owing to their role in inflammatory processes. It has also been proved that cardiovascular diseases, brain and heart strokes, multiple sclerosis and cancers are dysfunctions connected with a higher risk of depression onset. It is said that an inflammatory process may be a potential link between the aforementioned diseases and depression.
Protein levels of MMPs are corresponding to gene expression and are associated with clinical outcome. Gelatin zymography is one of the most commonly utilised methods for the quantification of MMPs.
MMPs are engaged in the pathophysiology of inflammatory processes. In recurrent depressive disorders, inflammation plays the key role not only on the brain tissue level. It has been suggested that inflammation may be associated with depression and cardiovascular dysfunctions. An association between MMP genotype and clinical outcome seems to play the key role in genotyping in clinical practice. Further, MMP detecting and reacting may be considered a possible target for the development of new therapies against disorders of the nervous and vascular systems.

Keywords: Central Nervous System, Depression, Inflammation, Matrix Metalloproteinases