Neurochemical Research

, Volume 32, Issue 12, pp 2184–2193 | Cite as

Inhibitory Effect of Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids on MMP-9 Release from Microglial Cells—Implications for Complementary Multiple Sclerosis Treatment

  • Grazia Maria Liuzzi
  • Tiziana Latronico
  • Rocco Rossano
  • Sandra Viggiani
  • Anna Fasano
  • Paolo RiccioEmail author
Original Paper


We investigated whether polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), which might be a useful complementary therapy among patients with multiple sclerosis (MS), are able to modulate matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) production in microglial cultures. MMPs are myelinotoxic factors. Primary cultures of rat microglia were treated with different doses of omega-3 (ω-3) PUFA or purified fish oil, containing a mixture of ω-3 and ω-6 PUFA, and simultaneously activated by exposure to lipopolysaccharide (LPS). Culture supernatants were subjected to zymography and Western blot analysis for the assessment of MMP-2 and MMP-9 levels. Increased amounts of MMP-9, but not of the constitutively expressed MMP-2, were observed in supernatants from LPS-treated microglia in comparison with non-treated control cells. The treatment with both ω-3 PUFA and fish oil dose-dependently inhibited the LPS-induced production of MMP-9. Our results suggest that a low fat diet supplemented with ω-3 PUFA may become recommended for the well being of MS patients under therapy.


Matrix metalloproteinases Omega-3 PUFA Multiple sclerosis Microglia 



This work was supported by the MS Project Grant no. 2004/R/16 from the Italian Multiple Sclerosis Foundation (FISM). The work was concluded under the auspices of the MARIE Network of the European Science Foundation regarding Myelin Structure and Its Role in Autoimmunity (2004–2006).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Grazia Maria Liuzzi
    • 1
  • Tiziana Latronico
    • 1
  • Rocco Rossano
    • 2
  • Sandra Viggiani
    • 2
  • Anna Fasano
    • 1
  • Paolo Riccio
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Biochemistry and Molecular BiologyUniversity of BariBariItaly
  2. 2.Department of Biology D.B.A.FUniversity of BasilicataPotenzaItaly

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