Matrix-Metallo-Proteinases and their tissue inhibitors in radiation-induced lung injury.Int J Radiat Biol. 2007 Oct; 83(10):665-76.IJ
Remodeling of extracellular matrix (ECM) after lung damage depends on collagen degrading Matrix-Metallo-Proteinases (MMP) and their endogenous inhibitors (Tissue-Inhibitors of Metallo-Proteinases, TIMP). Transforming growth factor (TGF)-beta1 has been implicated in the pathogenesis of radiation-induced lung fibrosis upon its effects on fibroblast proliferation and collagen synthesis. Lung cancer patients have often elevated TGF-beta1 plasma levels as a result of increased TGF-beta1 expression in their tumours. On this background, we investigated the effect of irradiation on the MMP/TIMP system in the lung tissue of normal and transgenic TGF-beta1 mice, in which TGF-beta1 is overexpressed in the liver resulting in high TGF-beta1 plasma levels.
MATERIAL AND METHODS
Transgenic (TG) and wild-type (WT) mice underwent thoracic irradiation with 12 Gy or sham-irradiation. For each study group (TG 12 Gy; TG 0 Gy; WT 12 Gy; WT 0 Gy) 8 mice were sacrificed at 4 and 8 weeks after (sham-) irradiation. The TGF-beta1, TIMP-1/-2/-3 expression in the lung tissue was quantified by Western blot; the MMP-2 and MMP-9 activity was analysed by zymography. The cellular origin of the MMP and TIMP was localised by immunohistochemistry.
Irradiation had no influence on the TIMP-1/-2/-3, but increased significantly the MMP-2 /-9 expression. In the lung tissue of TG mice the TIMP-1/-2/-3 expression was elevated, the MMP-9 activity was decreased. The immunhistochemical study showed that parenchymal and inflammatory cells express these MMP/TIMP.
Our results provide evidence that the overexpression of MMP-2 and MMP-9 is involved in the inflammatory response of radiation-induced lung injury. MMP-2 and MMP-9 are known to degrade collagen IV of basement membranes, therefore affecting the structural integrity of lung tissue. In contrast, in lung tissue of TG mice the TIMP-1/-2/-3 expression was up-regulated and the MMP-9 activity was diminished, thereby decreasing possibly the ECM degradation leading to lung fibrosis.