Macrophage metalloelastase (MMP-12) as a target for inflammatory respiratory diseases

Expert Opin Ther Targets. 2009 Mar;13(3):287-95. doi: 10.1517/14728220902751632.


Background: MMPs are known to regulate the turnover of extracellular matrix and have been suggested to be important in lung disease associated with tissue remodeling. Macrophage elastase (MMP-12) is able to degrade extracellular matrix components such as elastin and is involved in tissue remodeling in inflammatory respiratory diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases (COPD), including emphysema. Recent studies using MMP-12 inhibitors have demonstrated a reduction in both the inflammatory process and airspace enlargement in lung tissue.

Objective/methods: This review discusses the potential involvement of MMP-12 in the pathophysiological process and proposes MMP-12 as a target for inflammatory disorders of the respiratory system.

Results/conclusions: MMP-12 plays a predominant role in the inflammatory process induced by cigarette smoke, and therefore is potentially an important therapeutic target for the treatment of COPD.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Asthma / drug therapy
  • Asthma / enzymology
  • Asthma / physiopathology
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Drug Delivery Systems*
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 12 / metabolism
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase Inhibitors*
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / drug therapy*
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / enzymology
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / physiopathology
  • Pulmonary Fibrosis / drug therapy
  • Pulmonary Fibrosis / enzymology
  • Pulmonary Fibrosis / physiopathology
  • Smoking / adverse effects


  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase Inhibitors
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 12