Key words: Collagen
Peripheral nerve glial cells
Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract. Matrix metalloproteinases represent a family of zinc-dependent proteolytic enzymes thought to be involved in normal and disease-related tissue remodeling processes. Increasing information about these enzymes is becoming available concerning their primary sequences, regulation at the mRNA level, activation of proenzymes, and modulation of enzyme activity by tissue inhibitors. In contrast, their morphological distribution and biological functions in normal tissues are poorly understood. In the present report, the comparative distribution of five members (gelatinase-A, gelatinase-B, matrilysin, stromelysin-1, and stromelysin-3) of the matrix metalloproteinase family and of one inhibitor (TIMP-1) has been morphologically analyzed in human liver and skin with the aid of new monospecific antibodies. Because of their common designation as matrix proteinases, these enzymes might have been expected to be distributed throughout these tissues, or at least in the connective tissue. However, each member of the family produces a highly specific pattern, staining structures such as arteriolar smooth muscle cells, myoepithelial cells in secretory portions or the luminal lining in excretory ducts of dermal sweat glands, liver bile canaliculi, or structures surrounding peripheral nerve axons. No reactivity is detected in rat tissues.
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