Matrix metalloproteinases are notable contributors to neuroinflammation and blood-brain barrier disruption in multiple sclerosis (MS).
The goal of this study was to determine the serum levels of matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9), matrix metalloproteinase-2 (MMP-2), and their tissue inhibitors (TIMP-1) and (TIMP-2), and to investigate their possible relations to type, disability, and severity of MS.
Eighty-seven patients with definite MS according to the McDonald criteria and 50 healthy controls were enrolled in the study. Their clinical status was evaluated with the Expanded Disability Status Scale. Serum levels were analyzed by enzyme-linked immunoassay.
A significant elevation in MMP-9 serum levels and in the MMP-9/TIMP-1 ratio was found in the whole MS group (P<0.001), in the relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS) (P<0.001), and secondary-progressive MS (SPMS) (P<0.001) groups when compared with the controls. A significant elevation in MMP-2 serum levels and in the MMP-2/TIMP-2 ratio was observed in the primary progressive (P<0.001) and the SPMS (P<0.002) groups when compared with the RRMS group, and this increase was also associated with the disability (P<0.001) and severity (P<0.05) of the disease.
We confirmed that metalloproteinases are useful biological markers in MS, providing information about the clinical type, disability, and severity of the disease.