Contrasting effects of fluoroquinolone antibiotics on the expression of the collagenases, matrix metalloproteinases (MMP)-1 and -13, in human tendon-derived cells

Rheumatology (Oxford). 2005 Dec;44(12):1514-7. doi: 10.1093/rheumatology/kei087. Epub 2005 Sep 7.


Objectives: Fluoroquinolone antibiotics may cause tendon pain and rupture. We reported previously that the fluoroquinolone ciprofloxacin potentiated interleukin (IL)-1beta-stimulated expression of matrix metalloproteinases (MMP)-3 and MMP-1 in human tendon-derived cells. We have now tested additional fluoroquinolones and investigated whether they have a similar effect on expression of MMP-13.

Methods: Tendon cells were incubated for two periods of 48 h with or without fluoroquinolones and IL-1beta. Total ribonucleic acid (RNA) was assayed for MMP messenger RNA by relative quantitative reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction, with normalization for glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase mRNA. Samples of supernatant medium were assayed for MMP output by activity assays.

Results: MMP-13 was expressed by tendon cells at lower levels than MMP-1, and was stimulated typically 10- to 100-fold by IL-1beta. Ciprofloxacin, norfloxacin and ofloxacin each reduced both basal and stimulated expression of MMP-13 mRNA. In contrast, ciprofloxacin and norfloxacin increased basal and IL-1beta-stimulated MMP-1 mRNA expression. Both the inhibition of MMP-13 and the potentiation of MMP-1 expression by fluoroquinolones were accompanied by corresponding changes in IL-1beta-stimulated MMP output. The non-fluorinated quinolone nalidixic acid had lesser or no effects.

Conclusions: Fluoroquinolones show contrasting effects on the expression of the two collagenases MMP-1 and MMP-13, indicating specific effects on MMP gene regulation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Achilles Tendon / drug effects*
  • Achilles Tendon / enzymology
  • Anti-Infective Agents / pharmacology*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Collagenases / drug effects*
  • Collagenases / genetics
  • Collagenases / metabolism
  • Fluoroquinolones / pharmacology*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Enzymologic / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 1 / drug effects
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 1 / genetics
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 1 / metabolism
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 13
  • Matrix Metalloproteinases / drug effects*
  • Matrix Metalloproteinases / genetics
  • Matrix Metalloproteinases / metabolism
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction / methods


  • Anti-Infective Agents
  • Fluoroquinolones
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Collagenases
  • MMP13 protein, human
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 13
  • Matrix Metalloproteinases
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 1