Heparin inhibits the migration and proliferation of arterial smooth muscle cells and modifies the extracellular matrix. These effects may be the result of heparin's effects on proteinases that degrade the matrix. We have previously reported that heparin inhibits the induction of tissue-type plasminogen activator and interstitial collagenase mRNA. We have investigated the possibility that heparin affects other members of the matrix metalloproteinase family. Phorbol ester increased the levels of mRNA of collagenase, 92-kD gelatinase and stromelysin as well as the synthesis of these proteins. These effects were inhibited by heparin, but not by other glycosaminoglycans, in a dose-dependent manner. The induction of these matrix metalloproteinases was also inhibited by staurosporine and pretreatment with phorbol ester indicating the involvement of the protein kinase C pathway. In contrast, the 72-kD gelatinase was expressed constitutively and was not affected by phorbol ester or heparin. Tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase-1 was expressed constitutively and was slightly increased by phorbol ester. It was not affected by heparin. Thus, heparin inhibits the production of four proteinases (tissue plasminogen activator, collagenase, stromelysin and 92-kD gelatinase) that form an interdependent system capable of degrading all the major components of the extracellular matrix.
R D Kenagy, S T Nikkari, H G Welgus, A W Clowes