[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) degrade extracellular matrix; MMP activity, particularly of MMP-9, is elevated in the white matter in multiple sclerosis (MS) patients. The cerebral cortical extracellular matrix includes perineuronal nets (PNs) that surround parvalbumin-positive neurons (PV-positive neurons) and are important for their function. We measured active and total MMP-9 levels in postmortem homogenates of demyelinated and nondemyelinated cerebral cortical regions from 9MS and 7 control cases and assessed Wisteria floribunda agglutin (WFA)-positive PNs in paraffin sections from 15 MS and 6 controls and PV-positive neurons in sections from 26 MS and 6 controls. Active MMP-9 levels were higher in demyelinated than in nondemyelinated or control cortex (p < 0.05). The area fraction positive for WFA was lower in demyelinated than nondemyelinated MS or control cortex; the latter difference was significant (p < 0.05). Most PV-positive neurons in demyelinated but not intact cortex lackeda PN, and some showed perikaryal phosphorylated neurofilament protein accumulation. Loss of WFA-labeled PNs was not associated with reduced PV-positive neurons numbers. Thus, elevated MMP-9 in cortical plaques is associated with loss of PNs; PV-positive neurons are preserved but show abnormal neurofilament accumulations. Matrix metalloproteinase-mediated degradation of PNs in cortical plaques may, therefore, contribute to neuronal dysfunction and degeneration in MS patients.
No preview · Article · Oct 2008 · Journal of Neuropathology and Experimental Neurology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Recent studies have revealed extensive axonal damage in patients with progressive multiple sclerosis (MS). Axonal damage can be caused by a plethora of factors including the release of proteolytic enzymes and cytotoxic oxidants by activated immune cells and glia within the lesion. Macrophages and microglia are known to express myeloperoxidase (MPO) and generate reactive oxygen species during myelin phagocytosis in the white matter. In the present study we have measured MPO levels in post-mortem homogenates of demyelinated and non-demyelinated regions of white matter from nine patients with MS and seven controls, and assessed MPO immunoreactivity within MS brain. In homogenates of MS white matter, demyelination was associated with significantly elevated MPO activity when compared to controls. Immunohistochemistry showed MPO to be expressed mainly by macrophages within and adjacent to plaques. Demyelination in MS is associated with increased activity of MPO, suggesting that this production of reactive oxygen species may contribute to axonal injury within plaques.
No preview · Article · Sep 2008 · Neuroscience Letters