Enhanced invasive properties exhibited by smooth muscle cells are associated with elevated production of MMP-2 in patients with aortic aneurysms

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Journal Article
European Journal of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery, 2002, 24 (1), pp. 72 - 80
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Background: abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA) are associated with excessive vascular matrix remodelling. Recent findings suggest a systemic overproduction of matrix metalloproteinases-2 (MMP-2) by vascular smooth muscle cells (SMC) may be pivotal aetiologically. SMC migration is facilitated by MMP mediated proteolysis of the basement membrane and extracellular matrix. Our aim was to see if enhanced MMP-2 production by these SMC exhibit increased invasion, in an in vitro model of migration. Method: SMC were derived from inferior mesenteric vein (IMV) harvested from patients undergoing aneurysm repair (n = 6) or colectomy for diverticulosis (n = 6, control). Using a modified Boy den chamber chemotaxis was measured towards platelet derived growth factor (PDGF) and foetal calf serum (FCS) and invasion through a Matrigel layer. MMP-2 production was quantified by ELISA and gelatin zymography. Results: chemoattractant studies demonstrated no difference in the effect of PDGF or FCS between the two populations of SMC. However, invasive studies demonstrated a significant increase in the number of migrating SMC isolated from IMV of AAA patients. Analysis of culture media extracts revealed that this difference was associated with a significant increase in production of MMP-2. Conclusion: SMC derived from patients with AAA demonstrate increased invasive properties when compared to a control group. Increased migration appears to be due to overproduction of MMP-2. The enhanced migratory potential of these SMC may lead to extracellular matrix remodelling and subsequent medial disruption demonstrated in the aneurysmal aorta. These data further support evidence of the proteolytic role of MMP-2 in cell migration. © 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.
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