Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are pleiotropic endopeptidases involved in a variety of neurodegenerative/neuroinflammatory processes through their interactions with a large number of substrates. Among those, the amyloid precursor protein (APP) and the beta amyloid peptide (Aß) are largely associated with the development of Alzheimer's disease (AD). However, the regulation and potential contribution of MMPs to AD remains unclear. In this study, we investigated the evolution of the expression of MMP-2, MMP-9, and membrane-type 1-MMP (MT1-MMP) in the hippocampus at different stages of the pathology (asymptomatic, prodromal-like and symptomatic) in the 5xFAD transgenic mouse AD model. In parallel we also followed the expression of functionally associated factors. Overall, the expression of MMP-2, MMP-9, and MT1-MMP was upregulated concomitantly with the tissue inhibitor of MMPs-1 (TIMP-1) and several markers of inflammatory/glial response. The three MMPs exhibited age- and cell-dependent upregulation of their expression, with MMP-2 and MMP-9 being primarily located to astrocytes, and MT1-MMP to neurons. MMP-9 and MT1-MMP were also prominently present in amyloid plaques. The levels of active MT1-MMP were highly upregulated in membrane-enriched fractions of hippocampus at 6 months of age (symptomatic phase), when the levels of APP, its metabolites APP C-terminal fragments (CTFs), and Aß trimers were the highest. Overexpression of MT1-MMP in HEK cells carrying the human APP Swedish mutation (HEKswe) strongly increased ß-secretase derived C-terminal APP fragment (C99) and Aß levels, whereas MMP-2 overexpression nearly abolished Aß production without affecting C99. Our data consolidate the emerging idea of a regulatory interplay between MMPs and the APP/Aß system, and demonstrate for the first time the pro-amyloidogenic features of MT1-MMP. Further investigation will be justified to evaluate this MMP as a novel potential therapeutic target in AD.
|Journal||Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience|
|State||Published - Sep 18 2014|