Increased activity of matrix metalloproteinases in the cerebrospinal fluid of patients with HIV-associated neurological diseases.

J Neurovirol 2000 Apr;6(2):156-63

Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Bari, 70126 Bari, Italy.

Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) have been identified as mediators of brain injury in HIV-associated neurological diseases. The activity of the 72 kDa gelatinase A (MMP-2) and 92 kDa gelatinase B (MMP-9) was detected by zymography in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of 138 HIV-infected patients (40 with AIDS dementia, 83 with brain opportunistic infections and 15 neurologically asymptomatic), 26 HIV-seronegative individuals with inflammatory neurological diseases (IND) and 12 HIV-seronegative subjects with noninflammatory neurological diseases (NIND). MMP-2 was present in all CSF samples from HIV-seropositive and HIV-seronegative individuals, including those of subjects with NIND. On the contrary, MMP-9 was absent in the CSF of NIND controls, whereas the activity of this MMP was found in the 77 - 100% of CSF samples from HIV-infected patients, including those with HIV dementia, central nervous system (CNS) opportunistic infections or neurologically asymptomatic subjects. The highest levels of MMP-9 were found in the CSF of patients with cryptococcosis, cytomegalovirus encephalitis and tuberculous meningitis and were comparable with those found in the CSF of HIV-negative patients with multiple sclerosis or meningitis. A significant correlation between CSF MMP-9 activity and CSF cell count was found only in patients with HIV dementia. The increased CSF activity of MMPs capable to degrade components of the extracellular matrix of blood-brain barrier may contribute to the transendothelial migration of virus-infected cells into the CNS and development of HIV-associated neurologic damage.

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April 2000
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