Endogenous nitric oxide formation correlates negatively with circulating matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-2 and MMP-9 levels in black subjects
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- Metzger, I.F., Sandrim, V.C. & Tanus-Santos, J.E. Mol Cell Biochem (2012) 360: 393. doi:10.1007/s11010-011-1079-8
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Deficient formation of endogenous nitric oxide (NO) contributes to cardiovascular diseases, and this may be associated with increased circulating levels of matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9), as previously shown in white subjects. Because interethnic differences exist with respect to risk factors, prevalence, and severity of cardiovascular diseases, we designed this study to examine whether the circulating levels of nitrites (a marker of endogenous NO formation) are associated with the plasma levels of MMP-9 and MMP-2 in healthy black subjects. We studied 198 healthy subjects self-reported as blacks not taking any medications. Venous blood samples were collected and plasma and whole blood nitrite levels were measured using an ozone-based chemiluminescence assay. Plasma MMP-2 and MMP-9 levels were determined by gelatin zymography. We found a positive correlation between plasma MMP-9 and MMP-2 levels (P < 0.0001, rs = 0.556). Interestingly, we found a negative relationship between the plasma MMP-9 levels and the plasma or whole blood nitrites levels (P = 0.04, rs = −0.149; and P < 0.0001, rs = −0.349, respectively). In parallel, we found similar negative relationships between plasma MMP-2 levels and plasma or whole blood nitrites levels (P = 0.02, rs = −0.172; and P < 0.0001, rs = −0.454, respectively). This is the first study to show that endogenous nitric oxide formation correlates negatively with the circulating levels of both MMP-2 and MMP-9 in black subjects. Our findings suggest a mechanistic link between deficient NO formation and increased MMPs levels, which may promote cardiovascular diseases.