Up-regulation of alveolar macrophage matrix metalloproteinases in HIV1 + smokers with early emphysema

Robert J. Kaner, Francisco Santiago, Ronald Crystal

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HIV1+ smokers develop emphysema at an earlier age and with a higher incidence than HIV1- smokers. Since human alveolar macrophages (AMs) are capable of producing proteases that degrade extracellular matrix components, we hypothesized that up-regulation of AM matrix metalloproteinases may be associated with the emphysema of HIV1+ smokers. Microarray analysis was used to screen which matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) genes were expressed by AM of HIV1+ smokers with early emphysema. For each of the MMP genes expressed (MMP-1, -2, -7, -9, -10, -12 and -14), TaqMan PCR was used to quantify the relative expression in AM from four groups of individuals: HIV1- healthy nonsmokers, HIV1- healthy smokers, HIV1 - smokers with early emphysema, and HIV1+ smokers with early emphysema. While AM gene expression of MMPs was higher in HIV1- individuals with emphysema in comparison with HIV1- healthy smokers, for the majority of the MMPs (-1, -7, -9, and -12), AM expression from HIV1- smokers with early emphysema was significantly higher than in HIV1- smokers with early emphysema. HIV1+ individuals with early emphysema also had higher levels of epithelial lining fluid (ELF) MMPs (-2, -7, -9, and -12) than the 3 HIV1- groups. ELF MMP (-2,-7,-9, and -12) levels were similar in HIV1+ nonsmokers compared with HIV1 - nonsmokers. Interestingly, the active forms of MMP-2, -9, and -12 were exclusively detected in ELF from HIV1+ individuals with early emphysema. Since the activities of the up-regulated AM MMPs include collagenases, gelatinases, matrilysins, and elastase, these data suggest that up-regulated AM MMP genes and activation of MMP proteins may contribute to the emphysema of HIV1+ individuals who smoke.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)913-922
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Leukocyte Biology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2009
Externally publishedYes



  • Human
  • Lung
  • Lung disease
  • Pathogenesis
  • Protease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Cell Biology

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