Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are proteases involved in extracellular matrix (ECM) remodeling, leukocyte infiltration into lesions and myelin degradation in the central nervous system (CNS) disease multiple sclerosis (MS). We have investigated whether MMP-12 (macrophage metalloelastase) is expressed in MS lesions at various stages. In control patient tissue and (p)reactive MS lesions, only occasional microglial and astrocyte staining was detected. In contrast, in active demyelinating lesions, phagocytic macrophages were MMP-12 positive. A lower proportion of phagocytes was positive for MMP-12 in chronic active demyelinating lesions and inactive lesions. This suggests a role for MMP-12 during demyelination in MS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)106-14
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Neuroimmunology
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - May 2003


  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Brain/enzymology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Macrophages/enzymology
  • Male
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 12
  • Metalloendopeptidases/biosynthesis
  • Middle Aged
  • Multiple Sclerosis, Chronic Progressive/enzymology
  • Multiple Sclerosis/enzymology
  • Palatine Tonsil/cytology
  • Phagocytosis
  • Placenta/cytology
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Spleen/cytology

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