TIMPs and MMPs expression in CSF from patients with TSP/HAM.Life Sci. 2003 May 09; 72(25):2863-76.LS
The tropical spastic paraparesis or human T-cell lymphotropic virus associated myelopathy (TSP/HAM), has been related with an overexpression of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), especially MMP-9. Initial studies of reverse zymography with cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) from TSP/HAM patients, and controls showed the presence of TIMPs, endogenous MMP inhibitors. We determined in CSF the levels of TIMPs by immunoanalysis in 25 patients with TSP/HAM, and compared with two groups: controls and patients with acute and subacute inflammatory neurological diseases. We found that TIMP-2, TIMP-3 and TIMP-4 levels were significantly higher than in controls in both TSP/HAM and inflammatory patients, while TIMP-1 was increased only in the inflammatory group. Levels of MMP-3 and MMP-9 from the two groups of patients showed a significant upregulation in CSF. In the CSF of around the 70% of TSP-HAM and inflammatory patients the presence MMP-9 was detected by zymography, but not in controls. MMP-2 was only overexpressed in the acute inflammatory group. The active form of MMP-2 was observed in both groups of patients with a similar high frequency (60%). MMPs overexpressions are independent of the evolution time of the disease in TSP/HAM. The chronic overexpression of these extracelullar matrix proteins detected in CSF of TSP/HAM should be indirectly produced by secreted viral proteins being responsible for the progression of this disease, accounting for the observed differences with acute inflammatory patients. Our results support the existence of an imbalance between MMPs and their endogenous tissue inhibitors, which could be a pathogenic factor in the chronicity of TSP/HAM.