Objectives: In lung ischemia-reperfusion injury, neutrophil migration from the vasculature to the interstitial spaces plays a major role in tissue injury. Degradation of the basement membrane, which is composed of extracellular matrix (ECM) molecules, is necessary for neutrophil migration. Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) might play a role in ECM degradation in lung ischemia-reperfusion injury. We evaluated the changes in the activity of MMP-2 and MMP-9, and tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase 1 (TIMP-1) gene expressions using rat lung transplantation models.
Methods: We divided animals into 4 groups. Groups I and II served as control groups with intact lungs (Group I) and 24-hour cold-preserved lungs (Group II). Groups III and IV received lung grafts after 24-hour cold preservation. The recipient animals were sacrificed 1 hour (Group III) or 24 hours (Group IV) after transplantation. We evaluated lung injury histologically. We assessed MMP activity using zymography. We assessed MMP-2, MMP-9, and TIMP-1 gene expression using biplex reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction method.
Results: In Groups III and IV, we noted severe ischemia-reperfusion injury. We noted no significant difference in enzyme activity and gene expression of MMP-2 between Groups I and IV. The MMP-9 activity and gene expression were low during ischemia and increased on reperfusion. TIMP-1 gene expression was low during ischemia and at the early phase of reperfusion, and showed a dramatic increase at the late phase of reperfusion.
Conclusions: Matrix metalloproteinase 9, but not MMP-2, may play an important role in ischemia-reperfusion injury. TIMP-1 increases at the late phase of reperfusion and may compensate for the activity of MMP-9.