MMP's are a family of enzymes capable to degrade components from the extracellular matrix; they play an important role in normal physiology such as angiogenesis,wound healing,embryonic development an also in pathogenic pocesses such as atherosclerosis and atherotrombosis by turning a stable coronary plaque into an unstable one.Objective:
Their activity is regulated by a group of inhibitors (TIMP's).Aim:
We tested the possibility of MMP-7 and TIMP-1 to serve as biological markers for plaque instability.Design and method:
We have analysed a group of 114 patients (77 men and 27 women) aged 45–73 years old,evaluated for coronary artery disease (CAD) by performing coronarography;47 patients with stable CAD, 31 patients with unstable angina pectoris (UAP), 16 with acute myocardial infarction (AMI), and 17 patients without angiographic evidence of CAD.Design and method:
Blood samples collected from patients were centrifuged at 3000 rpm and serum was kept at −70 C until the assay has been made. Serum MMP-7 and TIMP-1 were determined by ELISA method and statistical analysis has been done using SPSS 15.0.Results:
Serum concentration of MMP-7 was increased in patients with UAP/AMI patients compared to patients with stable CAD, the highest levels were obtained in UAP group of patients . The evaluation of TIMP-1 followed a similar trend as MMP-7.Results:
The level of MMP-7 and TIMP-1 in controls were in the interval specified by the manufacturer.Conclusions:
High serum levels of MMP-7 and TIMP-1 seem to be associated with acute coronary events which may be determined by inflammation and degradation of the extracellular matrix from the atherosclerotic cap.