Background: Bone microvascular remodeling is the primary predictor of bone structure and function. Remodeling by its very nature implies synthesis and degradation of the extracellular matrix. Normally, 50% of total protein in the vessel wall is elastin. During remodeling, elastin is degraded by specialized matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs). Because the turnover of elastin is 1000-fold slower than that of collagen, most of the elastin is replaced by stiffer collagen. Stiffer vessels impose pressure on the aortic valve, causing regurgitation and increased pulse pressure. On the other hand, high MMP activity will cause vascular dilatation, leading to aneurysm. Therefore, balanced constitutive remodeling is necessary for adequate bone structure and function. Interestingly, collagen-degrading MMPs are involved in various pathological conditions, including osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, and cardiovascular disease. Sodium nitroprusside is a nitric oxide donor that could potentially alter MMP activity via vasodilation in vivo, but can also produce peroxynitrite, which activates MMPs by combining with superoxide. Moreover, hydrogen sulfide is a known antioxidant as well as a vasodilator, and is also speculated to contribute directly to MMP activity. We hypothesized that hydrogen sulfide reduced activity of MMP in ex vivo bone tissue homogenates and that sodium nitroprusside would increase MMP activity in vitro.
Methods: We surgically removed the tibia and femur from anesthetized mice, and prepared bone tissue homogenates using a mortar and pestle, measured the protein concentration with a spectrophotometer, and detected MMP activity using gelatin gel zymography.
Results: Our data showed increased MMP activity at a sodium nitroprusside concentration of 1 μM, and MMP activity increased exponentially. There was a decrease in MMP activity with increasing hydrogen sulfide, beginning at 16 μM (P < 0.01) and continuing to 40 μM. Moreover, sodium nitroprusside 3 μM was able to overcome the decrease in MMP activity that occurred with hydrogen sulfide 40 μM; this resulted in a more pronounced exponential increase in MMP activity.
Conclusion: There are several substances that can potentially be used to decrease MMP activity and to alleviate pathological remodeling by MMPs.
Keywords: bone remodeling; collagen cross-linking; homocysteine; matrix metalloproteinases; oxidative stress.