Membrane-type matrix metalloprotease (MT-MMP) is an activator of gelatinase A (MMP-2), which has previously been found in carcinoma cells. We examined non-neurological and Alzheimer's disease brain tissues for MT-MMP by immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridization. The anti-MT-MMP antibodies gave positive staining of brain microglial cells in all the brain tissues. Positively stained microglia were found only in the white matter. The cells producing MT-MMP protein were also shown to be white matter microglia. These results provide further evidence that activated gelatinase A, which may be a processing enzyme for degradation of beta-amyloid protein, may be produced in white matter microglia.