After brain injury, neuroblast cells from the subventricular zone (SVZ) expand and migrate toward damaged tissue. The mechanisms that mediate these neurogenic and migratory responses remain to be fully dissected. Here, we show that bromodeoxyuridine-labeled and doublecortin-positive cells from the SVZ colocalize with the extracellular protease matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) during the 2 week recovery period after transient focal cerebral ischemia in mice. Treatment with the broad spectrum MMP inhibitor GM6001 significantly decreases the migration of doublecortin-positive cells that extend from the SVZ into the striatum. These data suggest that MMPs are involved in endogenous mechanisms of neurogenic migration as the brain seeks to heal itself after injury.
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