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Vol. 113, No. 3, 2009
Issue release date: May 2009
Cardiology 2009;113:161–168

Differential Expression of Matrix Metalloproteinases and Tissue Inhibitors and Extracellular Matrix Remodeling in Aortic Regurgitant Hearts

Truter S.L. · Catanzaro D.F. · Supino P.G. · Gupta A. · Carter J. · Herrold E.M. · Dumlao T.F. · Borer J.S.
aThe Division of Cardiovascular Medicine and The Howard Gilman Institute for Heart Valve Disease, State University of New York Downstate Medical Center, Brooklyn, N.Y., bColumbia University Medical Center, New York, N.Y., cWyeth Research, Collegeville, Pa., and dBoston Medical Center, South Boston, Mass., USA

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Objectives: Myocardial fibrosis in experimental aortic regurgitation (AR) features abnormal fibronectin with normal collagen content, but the relevant degradative processes have not been assessed. Methods: To elucidate these degradative processes, mRNA (Northern) and protein levels (Western) of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) and their tissue inhibitors (TIMPs), as well as MMP activity (zymography), were measured in cardiac fibroblasts (CF) from New Zealand white rabbits with experimental AR paired with normals (NL). Collagen and fibronectin were quantified by immunohistochemical staining. Results: In AR CF versus NL CF, MMP-2 and -14 mRNA and protein were increased (both p < 0.005), while TIMPs 1–3 were slightly decreased (p < 0.05–0.005; TIMP-4 undetectable). Gelatinase activity in AR CF was 1.7 times that in NL CF (p < 0.005); fibronectinase activity was unaffected. The Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) inhibitor SP600125 suppressed MMP-2 protein (0.4-fold, p < 0.05) and mRNA (0.7-fold, p < 0.005) in AR CF; MMP-2 levels in NL CF were unaffected. AR MMP-9 mRNA, protein and activity were low and indistinguishable from NL. In left ventricular tissue, fibronectin was increased 1.9-fold (AR vs. NL, p < 0.05). Total AR collagen was indistinguishable from NL, but the collagen III to collagen I isoform ratio decreased (0.4-fold, p < 0.05). Conclusions: Collagen is relatively deficient in AR fibrosis, due at least in part to upregulated MMPs and downregulated TIMPs; fibronectinase is unaltered. JNK-dependent regulation may stimulate both MMP-2 and fibronectin expression in AR, providing a potential therapeutic target.

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