This study provides a comprehensive expression analysis for the entire matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) gene family during the process of epithelial resurfacing following corneal abrasion injury in the mouse. The mRNA levels for all known MMP genes expressed in mouse, the related enzyme ADAM-10, and the known tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinases (TIMPs) were determined semi-quantitatively by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) in the uninjured epithelium, and in the epithelial tissue resurfacing the abraded area or residing in its periphery at two time points: during the epithelial migration phase and immediately following wound closure. The mRNA levels for MMP-1a, -1b, -9, -10, -12, and -13 as well as TIMP-1 were significantly up-regulated in the migrating corneal epithelium. After wound resurfacing, the mRNA levels for all of these MMPs were down-regulated, although MMP-1a, -1b, and -13 remained significantly elevated in comparison to the uninjured epithelium. The only gene found to be down-regulated was TIMP-3, which occurred throughout the wound-healing process. During resurfacing, MMP-9 was localized to the front of the migrating epithelium, MMP-10 and -13 were localized throughout the migrating epithelium, and MMP-13 could also be found in the periphery. Following epithelial closure, immunoreactive MMPs-9 and -10 became undetectable, but MMP-13 continued to be found throughout the epithelium. Functional analysis of MMP-10 revealed no effects on epithelial migration or cell proliferation. In conclusion, distinct MMP temporal-spatial profiles define the uninjured corneal epithelium and the corneal epithelium at different stages of regeneration. An extensive review of the literature is also provided in the discussion.
Copyright © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.