Matrix Metalloproteinases Repress Hypertrophic Growth in Cardiac Myocytes

Cardiovasc Drugs Ther. 2021 Apr;35(2):353-365. doi: 10.1007/s10557-020-07138-y. Epub 2021 Jan 5.


Purpose: Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are identified as modulators of the extracellular matrix in heart failure progression. However, evidence for intracellular effects of MMPs is emerging. Pro- and anti-hypertrophic cardiac effects are described. This may be due to the various sources of different MMPs in the heart tissue. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to determine the role of MMPs in hypertrophic growth of isolated rat ventricular cardiac myocytes.

Methods: Cardiomyocytes were isolated form ventricular tissues of the rat hearts by collagenase perfusion. RT-qPCR, western blots, and zymography were used for expression and MMP activity analysis. Cross-sectional area and the rate of protein synthesis were determined as parameters for hypertrophic growth.

Results: MMP-1, MMP-2, MMP-3, MMP-9 and MMP-14 mRNAs were detected in cardiomyocytes, and protein expression of MMP-2, MMP-9, and MMP-14 was identified. Hypertrophic stimulation of cardiomyocytes did not enhance, but interestingly decreased expression of MMPs, indicating that downregulation of MMPs may promote hypertrophic growth. Indeed, the nonselective MMP inhibitors TAPI-0 or TIMP2 and the MMP-2-selective ARP-100 enhanced hypertrophic growth. Furthermore, TAPI-0 increased phosphorylation and thus activation of extracellular signaling kinase (ERK) and Akt (protein kinase B), as well as inhibition of glycogen synthase 3β (GSK3β). Abrogation of MEK/ERK- or phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase(PI3K)/Akt/GSK3β-signaling with PD98059 or LY290042, respectively, inhibited hypertrophic growth under TAPI-0.

Conclusion: MMPs' inhibition promotes hypertrophic growth in cardiomyocytes in vitro. Therefore, MMPs in the healthy heart may be important players to repress cardiac hypertrophy.

Keywords: Cardiomyocytes; Hypertrophy; Matrix metalloproteinase; Signaling kinases.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cardiomegaly / metabolism*
  • Down-Regulation
  • Male
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 2 / metabolism
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 9 / metabolism
  • Matrix Metalloproteinases / metabolism*
  • Myocytes, Cardiac / metabolism*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Signal Transduction
  • Up-Regulation


  • Matrix Metalloproteinases
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 2
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 9