Global, but not chondrocyte-specific, MT1-MMP deficiency in adult mice causes inflammatory arthritis

Matrix Biol. 2023 Sep:122:10-17. doi: 10.1016/j.matbio.2023.08.003. Epub 2023 Aug 19.


Membrane-type I metalloproteinase (MT1-MMP/MMP14) plays a key role in various pathophysiological processes, indicating an unaddressed need for a targeted therapeutic approach. However, mice genetically deficient in Mmp14 show severe defects in development and growth. To investigate the possibility of MT1-MMP inhibition as a safe treatment in adults, we generated global Mmp14 tamoxifen-induced conditional knockout (Mmp14kd) mice and found that MT1-MMP deficiency in adult mice resulted in severe inflammatory arthritis. Mmp14kd mice started to show noticeably swollen joints two weeks after tamoxifen administration, which progressed rapidly. Mmp14kd mice reached a humane endpoint 6 to 8 weeks after tamoxifen administration due to severe arthritis. Plasma TNF-α levels were also significantly increased in Mmp14kd mice. Detailed analysis revealed chondrocyte hypertrophy, synovial fibrosis, and subchondral bone remodeling in the joints of Mmp14kd mice. However, global conditional knockout of MT1-MMP in adult mice did not affect body weight, blood glucose, or plasma cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Furthermore, we observed substantial expression of MT1-MMP in the articular cartilage of patients with osteoarthritis. We then developed chondrocyte-specific Mmp14 tamoxifen-induced conditional knockout (Mmp14chkd) mice. Chondrocyte MT1-MMP deficiency in adult mice also caused apparent chondrocyte hypertrophy. However, Mmp14chkd mice did not exhibit synovial hyperplasia or noticeable arthritis, suggesting that chondrocyte MT1-MMP is not solely responsible for the onset of severe arthritis observed in Mmp14kd mice. Our findings also suggest that highly cell-type specific inhibition of MT1-MMP is required for its potential therapeutic use.

Keywords: Collagen; Extracellular matrix; LRP1; Metalloproteinase; Musculoskeletal syndrome.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood Glucose
  • Body Weight
  • Cartilage, Articular*
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 14 / genetics
  • Mice
  • Osteoarthritis* / chemically induced
  • Osteoarthritis* / genetics


  • Blood Glucose
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 14
  • Mmp14 protein, mouse

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