Despite normal arteriogenic and angiogenic responses, hind limb perfusion recovery and necrotic and fibroadipose tissue clearance are impaired in matrix metalloproteinase 9-deficient mice

J Vasc Surg. 2015 Jun;61(6):1583-94.e1-10. doi: 10.1016/j.jvs.2014.01.038. Epub 2014 Feb 28.


Objective: The relative contributions of arteriogenesis, angiogenesis, and ischemic muscle tissue composition toward reperfusion after arterial occlusion are largely unknown. Differential loss of bone marrow-derived cell (BMC) matrix metalloproteinase 9 (MMP9), which has been implicated in all of these processes, was used to assess the relative contributions of these processes during limb reperfusion.

Methods: We compared collateral growth (arteriogenesis), capillary growth (angiogenesis), and ischemic muscle tissue composition after femoral artery ligation in FVB/NJ mice that had been reconstituted with bone marrow from wild-type or MMP9(-/-) mice.

Results: Laser Doppler perfusion imaging confirmed decreased reperfusion capacity in mice with BMC-specific loss of MMP9; however, collateral arteriogenesis was not affected. Furthermore, when accounting for the fact that muscle tissue composition changes markedly with ischemia (ie, necrotic, fibroadipose, and regenerating tissue regions are present), angiogenesis was also unaffected. Instead, BMC-specific loss of MMP9 caused an increase in the proportion of necrotic and fibroadipose tissue, which showed the strongest correlation with poor perfusion recovery. Similarly, the reciprocal loss of MMP9 from non-BMCs showed similar deficits in perfusion and tissue composition without affecting arteriogenesis.

Conclusions: By concurrently analyzing arteriogenesis, angiogenesis, and ischemic tissue composition, we determined that the loss of BMC-derived or non-BMC-derived MMP9 impairs necrotic and fibroadipose tissue clearance after femoral artery ligation, despite normal arteriogenic and angiogenic vascular growth. These findings imply that therapeutic revascularization strategies for treating peripheral arterial disease may benefit from additionally targeting necrotic tissue clearance or skeletal muscle regeneration, or both.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue / enzymology
  • Adipose Tissue / pathology
  • Animals
  • Bone Marrow Transplantation
  • Collagen / metabolism
  • Collateral Circulation
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Fibrosis
  • Hindlimb
  • Ischemia / enzymology*
  • Ischemia / pathology
  • Ischemia / physiopathology
  • Ischemia / surgery
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 9 / deficiency*
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 9 / genetics
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Muscle, Skeletal / blood supply*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / enzymology*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / pathology
  • Necrosis
  • Neovascularization, Physiologic*
  • Regional Blood Flow
  • Time Factors


  • Collagen
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 9
  • Mmp9 protein, mouse