Retinal pigment epithelium produces matrix metalloproteinases after laser treatment

Christina Flaxel, John Bradle, Ted Acott, John R. Samples

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


PURPOSE: To evaluate production of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) and tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinases (TIMPs) after panretinal photocoagulation (PRP) of human retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) explants. METHODS: Treated explants were subjected to substrate zymography to differentiate MMP-2 from MMP-9 and dot immunoblot analysis to quantify MMP-3 and TIMP activity. Tritiated thymidine uptake by RPE cells was measured to document evidence of cellular division in the laser-treated versus control explants. RESULTS: We detected MMP-2, MMP-3, and TIMP-1. MMP-2 and MMP-3 secretion increased to twice the control values. TIMP decreased until day 4 and then increased by day 6. Tritiated thymidine uptake increased 2.5-fold until day 6, returning to baseline by day 8. CONCLUSION: PRP disturbs MMP/TIMP balance, inhibiting the initiation and maintenance required for active neovascularization. The efficacy of PRP may be due to changes in the expression pattern of metalloproteinases and inhibitors. This model elucidates the possible contribution of PRP to neovascularization regression by demonstrating the effect of laser on TIMP/MMP balance. The effects of PRP may be much more complex than currently understood and most likely involve more than vascular endothelial growth factor and other ischemia-related factors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)629-634
Number of pages6
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jun 1 2007


  • Argon laser photocoagulation
  • Matrix metalloproteinases
  • Retinal neovascularization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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