• Cancer;
  • Feline;
  • Zymography

Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are enzymes that play key roles in angiogenesis, tumor invasion, and metastasis in a wide variety of species. The purpose of this study was to evaluate pro and active MMP 2 and 9 concentrations in tumor, normal stromal tissue, and serum from tumor-bearing cats. We hypothesized that serum concentrations of pro and active forms of MMPs 2 and 9 would be predictive of MMP concentrations in tumor tissue and that these MMP concentrations would correlate with the histo-pathologic grade of the malignancies. Pro and active forms of MMPs 2 and 9 were determined by gelatin zymography and subsequent computerized densitometry from tumor and nearby stromal tissue and serum from 49 cats with various malignancies. The serum concentrations of MMPs from these tumor-bearing cats were compared with serum concentrations of MMPs from 44 normal cats of similar age and gender. Measurable concentrations of MMPs 2 and 9 were found within tumor, stromal, and serum samples. Mean concentrations of total pro and active MMPs 2 and 9 within tumor tissue were significantly higher (P values <.0001, .0031, <.001, and .0064, respectively) when compared with stromal tissue from the same animals. Serum MMP concentrations from tumor-bearing cats were higher than those from normal cats. Poor correlation was found between serum MMP concentrations and tissue MMP concentrations of increasing histologic grades of malignancies.