Matrix metalloproteinase-13 is highly expressed in destructive periodontal disease activity
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Background: Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) participate in extracellular matrix degradation in physiological and pathological conditions. The available evidence suggests that MMP-13 plays a significant role in both the initiation and progress of bone resorption. The aim of our study was to identify the presence of MMP-13 in adult patients with untreated chronic periodontitis. We also determined the activity of MMP-13 present in lesions undergoing episodic attachment loss in gingival crevicular fluid (GCF) samples. Methods: After monitoring at 2 and 4 months, 21 patients showed destructive periodontitis (periodontally affected sites presenting at least two sites with ≥2 mm clinical attachment loss), and GCF samples were collected both from active and inactive sites (21 GCF samples, each). GCF was collected during a 30-second interval using a paper strip, and an immunofluorescence assay was performed to determine the basal activity of MMP-13 and the relationship between 4-aminophenylmercuric acetate (APMA)-activated total MMP-13 and basal MMP-13 activity. Gingival tissues from five patients were fixed in formalin and MMP-13 expression was demonstrated using immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridization. MMP-13 molecular forms were examined by Western immunoblotting with monoclonal antibodies. Results: MMP-13 was found in 100% of GCF samples from patients with chronic periodontitis. Active sites, associated with tissue destruction, had significantly higher proportions of active MMP-13 and MMP-13 activity levels than their inactive counterparts (1.49 versus 1.17 ng fluorescent product, respectively; P <0.05). Western blot, immunohistochemical staining, and in situ hybridization confirmed the presence of MMP-13 in periodontal disease, with observable differences between periodontitis and healthy subjects. MMP-13 immunoreactivities were seen mainly as 55 and 48 kDa, corresponding to partially and fully activated forms, respectively, and a smaller proportion of 60-kDa proenzyme form. Conclusion: MMP-13 activity in GCF samples was significantly increased in active sites from progressive periodontal disease, supporting its role in the alveolar bone loss developed in this disease.