Cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA) is one of the main causes of intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) in the elderly. Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) have been implicated in blood-brain barrier disruption and ICH pathogenesis. In this study, we determined the levels MMP-2 and MMP-9 in plasma and their brain expression in CAA-associated hemorrhagic stroke. Although MMP-2 and MMP-9 plasma levels did not differ among patients and controls, their brain expression was increased in perihematoma areas of CAA-related hemorrhagic strokes compared with contralateral areas and nonhemorrhagic brains. In addition, MMP-2 reactivity was found in β-amyloid (Aβ)-damaged vessels located far from the acute ICH and in chronic microbleeds. MMP-2 expression was associated to endothelial cells, histiocytes and reactive astrocytes, whereas MMP-9 expression was restricted to inflammatory cells. In summary, MMP-2 expression within and around Aβ-compromised vessels might contribute to the vasculature fatal fate, triggering an eventual bleeding.
© 2011 The Authors. Brain Pathology © 2011 International Society of Neuropathology.