Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) activity may modulate hypertension-related accumulation of extracellular matrix (ECM) in arteries. We tested whether estrogen deficiency induces alterations of vascular collagen, MMP-2, membrane-type 1-MMP (MT1-MMP), or tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases-2 (TIMP-2) expression in ovariectomized rats, which may be associated with postmenopausal hypertension.METHODS:
Estrogen deficiency was induced by ovariectomy (Ovx) in female rats. Time-course changes of aortic MMPs protein expression were evaluated. Treatment with tempol or aminoguanidine was used to examine the role of oxidative stress and nitric oxide (NO) on these changes.RESULTS:
The level of the active-form MMP-2 was markedly reduced during 1-4 weeks after Ovx, with a significant increase in collagen accumulation and increased MT1-MMP expression. Although active-form MMP-2 and collagen progressively returned to normal levels, the markedly increased collagen deposition appeared again at 8 weeks and persisted until 12 weeks, followed by induction of MMP-2 and MT1-MMP at 12 weeks. The TIMP-2 level reduced for 2 weeks after Ovx, but soon returned to normal. Treatment with 17β-estradiol (E2), tempol, or aminoguanidine for 6 weeks prevented Ovx-induced blood pressure elevation and apparently reversed the MMPs changes.CONCLUSIONS:
In an initial period, E2 deficiency induces a reduction of active-form MMP-2 leading to collagen accumulation, and induction of MT1-MMP, which may be a compensatory response to degrade collagen. At a latter stage, the concurrent elevation of active-form MMP-2 and MT1-MMP expression may be adaptive responses to regulate ECM composition in the vascular wall. Oxidative stress and NO contribute to activity modulation of vascular MMPs in Ovx rats.