Little is known about the involvement of matrix metalloproteinase-2 (MMP-2) and its tissue inhibitor TIMP-2 in multiple sclerosis (MS).
To elucidate the actual implication of MMP-2 and TIMP-2 in MS.
Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and serum levels of active MMP-2 and TIMP-2 were measured by activity assay system and ELISA, respectively, in 67 patients with relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS), categorized according clinical and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and in 129 controls.
Cerebrospinal fluid and serum active MMP-2/TIMP-2 ratio mean values and an intrathecal active MMP-2 production were more increased in RRMS than in non-inflammatory conditions (P < 0.001, P < 0.05, and P < 0.0001, respectively) and in MRI inactive than in MRI active RRMS (P < 0.02, P < 0.01 and P < 0.001, respectively). An intrathecal synthesis of active MMP-2 was more frequent in RRMS than in inflammatory disorders (P < 0.01). Serum active MMP-2/TIMP-2 ratio and MS disease duration were positively correlated (P < 0.02).
These findings suggest a potential role for MMP-2 activity in the termination of MS neuroinflammation related to remission of the disease and seem to indicate that serum MMP-2/TIMP-2 ratio may represent a useful biomarker for monitoring MS recovery phase.