Myeloperoxidase (MPO) has paradoxically been found to be able to both activate matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) as well as inhibit MMPs. However, these regulatory effects have not yet been observed in vivo, and it is unclear which pathway is relevant in vivo. We aim to track MPO regulation of MMP activity in living animals in neuroinflammation. Mice induced with experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), a mouse model of neuroinflammation and multiple sclerosis, were treated with either the MPO-specific inhibitor 4-aminobenzoic acid hydrazide or saline as control. Mice underwent concurrent magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) with the MPO-specific molecular imaging agent MPO-Gd and fluorescence molecular tomography (FMT) with the MMP-targeting agent MMPsense on day 12 after induction. Biochemical and histopathological correlations were performed. Utilizing concurrent MRI and FMT imaging, we found reduced MMP activity in the brain with MPO inhibition, demonstrating MPO activity positively regulates MMP activity in vivo. In vivo MMPSense activation and MMP-9 activity correlated with MPO-Gd+ lesion volume and disease severity. This was corroborated by in vitro assays and histopathological analyses that showed MMP activity and MMP-9+ cells correlated with MPO activity and MPO+ cells. In conclusion, multimodal molecular imaging demonstrates for the first time MPO regulation of MMP activity in living animals. This approach could serve as a model to study the interactions of other biologically interesting molecules in living organisms.
Molecular Neurobiology – Springer Journals
Published: May 28, 2018
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