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Gene expression levels of matrix metalloproteinases in human atherosclerotic plaques and evaluation of radiolabeled inhibitors as imaging agents for plaque vulnerability.


Müller, Adrienne; Krämer, Stefanie D; Meletta, Romana; Beck, Katharina; Selivanova, Svetlana V; Rancic, Zoran; Kaufmann, Philipp A; Vos, Bernhard; Meding, Jörg; Stellfeld, Timo; Heinrich, Tobias K; Bauser, Marcus; Hütter, Joachim; Dinkelborg, Ludger M; Schibli, Roger; Ametamey, Simon M (2014). Gene expression levels of matrix metalloproteinases in human atherosclerotic plaques and evaluation of radiolabeled inhibitors as imaging agents for plaque vulnerability. Nuclear medicine and biology, 41(7):562-569.

Abstract

INTRODUCTION Atherosclerotic plaque rupture is the primary cause for myocardial infarction and stroke. During plaque progression macrophages and mast cells secrete matrix-degrading proteolytic enzymes, such as matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs). We studied levels of MMPs and tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases-3 (TIMP-3) in relation to the characteristics of carotid plaques. We evaluated in vitro two radiolabeled probes targeting active MMPs towards non-invasive imaging of rupture-prone plaques. METHODS Human carotid plaques obtained from endarterectomy were classified into stable and vulnerable by visual and histological analysis. MMP-1, MMP-2, MMP-8, MMP-9, MMP-10, MMP-12, MMP-14, TIMP-3, and CD68 levels were investigated by quantitative polymerase chain reaction. Immunohistochemistry was used to localize MMP-2 and MMP-9 with respect to CD68-expressing macrophages. Western blotting was applied to detect their active forms. A fluorine-18-labeled MMP-2/MMP-9 inhibitor and a tritiated selective MMP-9 inhibitor were evaluated by in vitro autoradiography as potential lead structures for non-invasive imaging. RESULTS Gene expression levels of all MMPs and CD68 were elevated in plaques. MMP-1, MMP-9, MMP-12 and MMP-14 were significantly higher in vulnerable than stable plaques. TIMP-3 expression was highest in stable and low in vulnerable plaques. Immunohistochemistry revealed intensive staining of MMP-9 in vulnerable plaques. Western blotting confirmed presence of the active form in plaque lysates. In vitro autoradiography showed binding of both inhibitors to stable and vulnerable plaques. CONCLUSIONS MMPs differed in their expression patterns among plaque phenotypes, providing possible imaging targets. The two tested MMP-2/MMP-9 and MMP-9 inhibitors may be useful to detect atherosclerotic plaques, but not the vulnerable lesions selectively.

INTRODUCTION Atherosclerotic plaque rupture is the primary cause for myocardial infarction and stroke. During plaque progression macrophages and mast cells secrete matrix-degrading proteolytic enzymes, such as matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs). We studied levels of MMPs and tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases-3 (TIMP-3) in relation to the characteristics of carotid plaques. We evaluated in vitro two radiolabeled probes targeting active MMPs towards non-invasive imaging of rupture-prone plaques. METHODS Human carotid plaques obtained from endarterectomy were classified into stable and vulnerable by visual and histological analysis. MMP-1, MMP-2, MMP-8, MMP-9, MMP-10, MMP-12, MMP-14, TIMP-3, and CD68 levels were investigated by quantitative polymerase chain reaction. Immunohistochemistry was used to localize MMP-2 and MMP-9 with respect to CD68-expressing macrophages. Western blotting was applied to detect their active forms. A fluorine-18-labeled MMP-2/MMP-9 inhibitor and a tritiated selective MMP-9 inhibitor were evaluated by in vitro autoradiography as potential lead structures for non-invasive imaging. RESULTS Gene expression levels of all MMPs and CD68 were elevated in plaques. MMP-1, MMP-9, MMP-12 and MMP-14 were significantly higher in vulnerable than stable plaques. TIMP-3 expression was highest in stable and low in vulnerable plaques. Immunohistochemistry revealed intensive staining of MMP-9 in vulnerable plaques. Western blotting confirmed presence of the active form in plaque lysates. In vitro autoradiography showed binding of both inhibitors to stable and vulnerable plaques. CONCLUSIONS MMPs differed in their expression patterns among plaque phenotypes, providing possible imaging targets. The two tested MMP-2/MMP-9 and MMP-9 inhibitors may be useful to detect atherosclerotic plaques, but not the vulnerable lesions selectively.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Nuclear Medicine
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:August 2014
Deposited On:27 Aug 2014 16:33
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 18:21
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0969-8051
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nucmedbio.2014.04.085
PubMed ID:24853402

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