Plasminogen activators (PAs) and matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are considered to play an important role in the pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis. Experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) is widely used as an animal model of multiple sclerosis. Whereas several studies have addressed the expression of various MMPs and their inhibitors in the pathogenesis of EAE, the expression of the molecules of the PA system during EAE has not been reported previously. The present study was undertaken to investigate the expression of the molecules of the PA system (tPA, uPA, PAI-1, uPAR, LRP), as well as several members of the MMP family and their inhibitors in the course of actively induced EAE in BALB/c mice. During clinical EAE, the PA system was up-regulated in the central nervous system at several levels. Induction of expression of tPA and PAI-1 transcripts was detected in activated astrocytes in the white matter. Inflammatory cells expressed uPA receptor, uPAR. In situ zymography demonstrated the presence of increased tPA and uPA activities in the areas of the inflammatory damage. Accumulation of fibrin, fibronectin, and vitronectin immunoreactivity was seen in perivascular matrices of symptomatic animals. In addition, transcription of MT1-MMP and metalloelastase (in inflammatory cells), and TIMP-1 (in activated astrocytes) was induced during EAE. Increased gelatinolytic activity was detected at the sites of inflammatory cell accumulation by in situ zymography of fluorescently labeled gelatin; substrate gel zymography identified the up-regulated gelatinolytic activity as gelatinase B. Overall, our study demonstrates concurrent induction of PA and MMP systems during active EAE, supporting further the concept that the neuroinflammatory damage in EAE involves altered balance between multiple extracellular proteases and their inhibitors. © 2001 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.
Teesalu, T., Hinkkanen, A. E., & Vaheri, A. (2001). Coordinated induction of extracellular proteolysis systems during experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis in mice. American Journal of Pathology, 159(6), 2227–2237. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0002-9440(10)63073-8