Gelatinase activitiy of matrix metalloproteinases in the cerebrospinal fluid of various patient populations
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We have studied the enzymatic gelatinolytic activity of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) present in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of samples obtained from 67 individuals, twenty-one nonneurological patients (considered controls) and 46 subjects with various neurological disorders e.g., vascular lesions, demyelination, inflammatory, degenerative and prion diseases. Biochemical characterization of MMPs, a family of neutral proteolytic enzymes involved in extracellular matrix modeling, included determination of substrate specificity and Ca+2 dependency, as well as the effects of protease inactivators, carboxylic and His (histidine) residue modifiers, and antibiotics. Whereas all CSF samples expressed MMP-2 (gelatinase A) activity, it corresponded in most cases (normal and pathological samples) to its latent form (proenzyme; pMMP-2). In general, inflammatory neurological diseases (especially meningitis and neurocisticercosis) were associated with the presence of a second enzyme, MMP-9 (or gelatinase B). Whereas MMP-9 was found in the CSF of every tropical spastic paraparesis patient studied, its presence in samples from individuals with vascular lesions was uncommon. Patients blood-brain barrier damage was ascertained by determining total CSF protein content using both, the conventional polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis procedure under denaturing conditions and capillary zone electrophoresis.
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