Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) play important roles in normal brain development and synaptic plasticity, although aberrant expression of MMPs leads to brain damage, including blood-brain barrier disruption, inflammation, demyelination, and neuronal cell death. In this article, we report that MMP-8 is upregulated in LPS-stimulated BV2 microglial cells and primary cultured microglia, and treatment of MMP-8 inhibitor (M8I) or MMP-8 short hairpin RNA suppresses proinflammatory molecules, particularly TNF-α secretion. Subsequent experiments showed that MMP-8 exhibits TNF-α-converting enzyme (TACE) activity by cleaving the prodomain of TNF-α (A74/Q75, A76/V77residues) and, furthermore, that M8I inhibits TACE activity more efficiently than TAPI-0, a general TACE inhibitor. Biochemical analysis of the underlying anti-inflammatory mechanisms of M8I revealed that it inhibits MAPK phosphorylation, NF-kB/AP-1 activity, and reactive oxygen species production. Further support for the proinflammatory role of microglial MMP-8 was obtained from an in vivo animal model of neuroinflammatory disorder. MMP-8 is upregulated in septic conditions, particularly in microglia. Administration of M8I or MMP-8 short hairpin RNA significantly inhibits microglial activation and expression/secretion of TNF-α in brain tissue, serum, and cerebrospinal fluid of LPS-induced septic mice. These results demonstrate that MMP-8 critically mediates microglial activation by modulating TNF-α activity, which may explain neuroinflammation in septic mouse brain.
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© 2014 by The American Association of Immunologists, Inc.