Review Article

Central European Journal of Biology

, Volume 6, Issue 4, pp 471-485

First online:

Matrix metalloproteinases at key junctions in the pathomechanism of stroke

  • Zsolt RottenbergerAffiliated withDepartment of Medical Biochemistry, Semmelweis University
  • , Krasimir KolevAffiliated withDepartment of Medical Biochemistry, Semmelweis University Email author 

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access


Matrix metalloproteinases play a crucial role in the remodelling of the extracellular matrix through direct degradation of its structural proteins and control of extracellular signalling. The most common cause of ischemic brain damage is an atherothrombotic lesion in the supplying arteries. The progress of the atherosclerotic plaque development and the related thrombotic complications are mediated in part by matrix metalloproteinases. In addition to their role in the underlying disease, various members of this protease family are upregulated in the acute phase of ischemic brain damage as well as in the post-ischemic brain recovery following stroke. This review summarizes the current understanding of the matrix metalloproteinase-related molecular events at three stages of the ischemic cerebrovascular disease (in the atherosclerotic plaque, in the neurovascular unit of the brain and in the regenerating brain tissue).


Extracellular matrix Atherosclerosis Blood-brain barrier Ischemic damage Brain regeneration