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Localization of matrix metalloproteinase-2 and -9 in the medial collateral ligament epiligament in rat knee

A. Iliev, G. Georgiev, B. Landzhov, I. Dimitrova, G. Kotov, P. Rashev, L. Malinova, W. Ovtscharoff


Matrix metalloproteinases are a family of Ca2+-and Zn2+-dependent endopeptidases which play a central role in the catabolism of extracellular matrix macromolecules. These enzymes have a devastating effect on the healing process of the injured ligaments. It has been found that they are involved in many cellular processes such as tissue remodelling, repair and basement membrane degradation and it has been proved that they participate in the healing of acute tears, tumour invasion, neovascularization and metastases.Our recent reports in rat model show that fibroblasts in the epiligament, an enveloping tissue of the ligament, are not static cells and play an important role during the early ligament healing in isolated grade III injury of the collateral ligaments. Therefore it was our aim to investigate the presence of matrix metalloproteinase-2 and -9 in the medial collateral ligament epiligament in rat knee.The external surface of the epiligament of the medial collateral ligament was comprised of fbroblasts, fbrocytes, adipocytes, neuro-vascular bundles and numerous multidirectional collagen fibres. The most interesting finding was the distribution of matrix metalloproteinase-2 and -9 in the epiligament and the ligament substance. It should be pointed out that the positive reaction of these enzymes was predominantly localized in the epiligament compared to the ligament substance.In conclusion, this study shows that the fibroblasts of the medial collateral ligament normally generate low levels of metalloproteinase-2 and -9. After describing the role of these enzymes in ligament healing, further investigation into their presence in the epiligament-ligament complex during ligament healing could be found to be of interest.Acknowledgements: This research was supported by Grant No. 19/2016 of the Medical University of Sofia, Bulgaria.

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About The Authors

A. Iliev

G. Georgiev

B. Landzhov

I. Dimitrova

G. Kotov

P. Rashev

L. Malinova

W. Ovtscharoff

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