Increased Matrix Metalloproteinase 2 Activity in the Human Internal Mammary Artery Is Associated with Ageing, Hypertension, Diabetes and Kidney Dysfunction

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Dysregulation of matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-2 in the vasculature has been suggested to be associated with increased prevalence of cardiovascular disease and renal injury. In this descriptive study, we hypothesized that arterial MMP-2 activity is elevated in the presence of cardiovascular risk factors such as diabetes, hypertension, smoking and ageing, and that it correlates with the degree of kidney function. MMP-2 activity in internal mammary arteries (n = 37) was measured using gelatinolytic zymography, and cutoffs were determined using sample-derived medians. Patient demographics and clinical data were analyzed, and the estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) was calculated. High MMP-2 activity (>60,000 units) was associated with age, hypertension and diabetes (p = 0.0034, 0.06 and 0.0034, respectively). Multivariate analysis showed that age and diabetes were independent predictors of high MMP-2 activity. There is a trend towards increased MMP-2 activity and reduced eGFR (p = 0.010). The current exploratory work describes that the activity of MMP-2 in the internal mammary artery is correlated with age, hypertension, diabetes and eGFR. It is the first report suggesting that MMP-2 in the arterial vasculature could be the possible mediator crucial in linking the progression of kidney function to cardiovascular disease.

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