Analysis of matrix metalloproteinase levels and activity in vesiculoerosive diseases
Mair, Yasmin Hisham
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Oral vesiculoerosive diseases (VE), such as lichen planus and pemphigoid, are immune mediated pathoses. VE disease is treated with non-specific immunosuppressants. These medications often have untoward effects and do not address disease etiology. It is important to identify mechanisms critical to disease pathogenesis in order to design targeted therapeutics. Matrix metalloproteinases-2 and -9 (MMP-2 and MMP-9) are elevated in oral lesional biopsies of VE patients. However, there have been no studies examining systemic levels of MMP-2 and MMP-9 in this patient population, and the activity of these enzymes in disease is also unknown. Our objective is to determine whether levels and activity of MMP-2 and MMP-9 are elevated in the sera and saliva of patients with VE disease in order to identify novel therapeutic targets. We recruited patients with a known or suspected diagnosis of VE disease (n=10) and healthy controls (n=19). We collected sera and saliva, and performed ELISAs to measure MMP-2 and -9 levels. We used gelatinase zymography and Biotrak assays to determine the activity of these MMPs. Our data suggest MMP-9 is active in sera and saliva of healthy control and VE patients. Moreover, MMP-2 is active in sera from both groups, although we did not detect MMP-2 activity in saliva. There was no difference in MMP activity in VE patient sera or saliva as compared to controls. Significantly, MMP-2 levels are elevated in sera of VE patients (p = 0.07), while MMP-9 levels are elevated in VE patient saliva (p = 0.005). In conclusion, MMP-2 and MMP-9 are detected in both sera and saliva from VE patients and healthy controls. MMP-2 is elevated in VE patient sera, and MMP-9 is elevated in VE patient saliva. Therefore, MMPs may be a potential marker of disease, and therapeutics that diminish MMP activity may have efficacy in the treatment of VE disease.