Expression of Matrix Metalloproteinases and Tissue Inhibitor of Matrix Metalloproteinases during Apical Periodontitis Development

Published:April 22, 2021DOI:



      Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) and tissue inhibitors of matrix metalloproteinases (TIMPs) are considered important mediators of the periapical immune response to infection. This study aimed to clarify the putative relationship between MMPs and TIMPs by elucidating the activity of MMP-1, MMP-2, MMP-8, MMP-9, TIMP-1, and TIMP-2 in the temporal development of apical periodontitis (AP) in mice.


      AP was induced in the lower first molars of 30 male Kunming mice. The animals were randomly killed at 0, 7, 14, 28, 60, and 90 days after pulp exposure. The jaws were removed and subjected to quantitative real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, and immunohistochemical analysis.


      The MMP-1, MMP-2, MMP-8, MMP-9, TIMP-1, and TIMP-2 messenger RNA and protein expression levels increased with periapical inflammation progression (P < .05). The MMP-1, MMP-2, MMP-9, TIMP-1, and TIMP-2 messenger RNA and protein expression levels increased during the acute and chronic stages of periapical lesions, with less MMP-2 and MMP-9 expression levels at the chronic stage (P < .05). The MMP-8 expression increased at the chronic stage of inflammation (P < .05) but not at the acute stage. Immunostained MMP-2 and TIMP-1 were observed in all experimental periods.


      MMP-1, MMP-2, MMP-8, MMP-9, TIMP-1, and TIMP-2 were expressed in all periapical samples with varying levels between them. MMP expression could be related to TIMP expression in the temporal development of AP.

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