ISSN ONLINE: 2558-815X
ISSN PRINT: 1584-9244
ISSN-L: 1584-9244

The role and relationship of Endothelin-1 and Matrix Metalloproteinases-2 and -9 in the destabilization of atheromatous plaque


Introduction. Matrix metalloproteinases (MMP-2 and MMP-9) have a crucial role in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis, because they are responsible for the degradation of laminae elastica in the arteries and the formation of aneurysms. The MMP-2 is also liable for cleavage of a big endothelin-1 (ET-1), resulting in the release of the vasoactive ET-1 peptide responsible for vasoconstriction and smooth muscle proliferation, activating the process of athero- and thrombogenesis.
The objective of the study was to determine the distribution of ET-1, MMP-2, and MMP-9 in the vascular wall of abdominal aorta in dead patients, with and without atherosclerotic changes by immunohistochemical staining.
Material and methods. The 24 segments of human abdominal aortas collected at autopsy within five hours of death were used: group 1 (G1) included 20 atherosclerotic segments and group 2 (G2) included 4 non-atherosclerotic segments. G1 was further divided into two sub-groups: G1-A and G1-B. Group G1-A included plaques complicated with calcifications, erosions, hemorrhages, and group G1-B uncomplicated atheromatous plaques.
Results. The results showed the local overrepresentation of ET-1, MMP-2, and MMP-9 in the atherosclerotic segments. The intensity of staining in G1 was significantly higher in comparison to G2. The increased staining of ET-1, MMP-2, and MMP-9 in macrophages, smooth muscle cells, and endothelial cells correlates with atherosclerosis severity.
Conclusions. Our study showed the active participation of ET-1, MMP-2, and MMP-9 in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis by triggering a vicious circle responsible for the atherosclerotic plaque’s destabilization.
Keywords: atherosclerosis, ET-1, MMP-2, MMP-9, immunohistochemistry

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Department of Pathophysiology, Medical University-Pleven, Bulgaria
Address: 1 Kliment Ohridski Str., 5800 Pleven, Bulgaria


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Grigoryan AV, Dimitrova AA, Betova TM. The role and relationship of endothelin-1 and matrix metalloproteinases-2 and -9 in the destabilization of atheromatous plaque. Arch Balk Med Union. 2022;57(4):332-339.