Background: Previous studies have shown an upregulation of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) in intestinal tissue of patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and significant clinical improvement after administration of the anti-TNF-α antibody infliximab. The aims of our study were to determine expression and secretion of MMP-1, -2, -3, -9, and their inhibitors TIMP-1, -2 by IBD versus control intestinal mucosa ex vivo and to assess the regulatory capacity by infliximab of the proteolytic phenotype.
Methods: Intestinal mucosal explants from 20 IBD and 15 control patients were cultured with or without infliximab and/or the T-cell activator pokeweed mitogen (PWM). Explants and culture supernatants were analyzed for MMPs, TIMPs, and TNF-α protein, activity and/or mRNA levels. All patients were genotyped for functional TNF-α, MMP, and TIMP single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) loci.
Results: Expression of MMP and TIMP protein/activity in basal medium was higher in IBD versus control explants. Dependent on genotype at SNP loci, infliximab downregulated MMP-1, -3, and -9 relative to TIMP-1 and -2 and also decreased MMP-1 and -3 activities, while PWM enhanced these levels, partly counteracted again by infliximab. The expression of MMP-2 relative to TIMP did not change by treatment with infliximab and/or PWM.
Conclusions: The high expression of MMPs in patients with IBD suggests a role for these proteinases in the pathogenesis of this disease. Infliximab seems to induce a genotype-associated matrix protective phenotype, which may contribute to the observed therapeutic efficacy of this drug in IBD, particularly at the mucosal surface.
(Inflamm Bowel Dis 2007)