Author + information
- Received April 13, 2004
- Revision received June 17, 2004
- Accepted July 5, 2004
- Published online October 19, 2004.
- Victoria Polyakova, PhD*,* (, )
- Stefan Hein, MD†,
- Sawa Kostin, MD*,
- Tibor Ziegelhoeffer, MD* and
- Jutta Schaper, MD*
- ↵*Reprint requests and correspondence:
Dr. Victoria Polyakova, Max-Planck-Institute, Dept. of Experimental Cardiology, Benekestr. 2, D-61231 Bad Nauheim, Germany
Objectives We studied the role of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) and their tissue inhibitors (TIMPs) in fibrosis formation in the transition from hypertrophy to heart failure (HF) as well as the cellular source of MMPs and TIMPs.
Background Human pressure-overloaded hearts are characterized by a significant increase in cardiac fibrosis. However, the contribution of the proteolytic/antiproteolytic system in aortic stenosis (AS) during hypertrophy progression has not yet been elucidated.
Methods Three groups of AS patients (I: EF >50%, n = 12; II: EF 50% to 30%, n = 10; III: EF <30%, n = 12) undergoing aortic valve replacement and seven controls were studied. Tissue samples were investigated by immunoconfocal microscopy, Western blotting, and zymography.
Results Quantitative analysis by immunoconfocal microscopy and Western blotting showed an upregulation of MMP-1, -2, -3, -9, -13, and -14 in group I and further increases in later stages. Tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinase-1 and -2 were enhanced and TIMP-4 was decreased in comparison to control. Gelatinolytic activity of MMP-2 significantly (p < 0.05) increased 1.2-fold (group I), 1.5-fold (group II), and 1.6-fold (group III) over control. The level of collagen I was significantly upregulated in all AS groups. Immunoconfocal microscopy showed that MMPs and TIMPs are produced predominantly by fibroblasts. The number of proliferating fibroblasts was significantly elevated during the transition to HF (0.67 n/mm2-control, 5.03-group III, p < 0.05).
Conclusions In human hearts a continuous turnover of the extracellular matrix occurs during the progression from compensated hypertrophy to HF that is characterized by the upregulation of MMPs and inadequate inhibition by TIMPs. The altered balance between proteolysis/antiproteolysis with accompanying proliferation of fibroblasts results in fibrosis progression.
This work was supported by a grant from the Max-Planck Society.
- Received April 13, 2004.
- Revision received June 17, 2004.
- Accepted July 5, 2004.
- American College of Cardiology Foundation