SCIENTIFIC REPORTS, vol.11, no.1, 2021 (SCI-Expanded)
The association between matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases (TIMPs) and obesity as well as obesity-related disease including metabolic syndrome is not fully explored. Our aims are that: (i) to evaluate the plasma levels of MMP-1, MMP-2, MMP-3, MMP-9, TIMP-1, TIMP-2 and their ratios in non-obese people, overweight and obese people with or without metabolic syndrome, (ii) to investigate correlations between MMPs or TIMPs levels and several anthropometric parameters, blood pressure, endothelial function. Anthropometric and biochemical parameters were determined in 479 randomly selected participants, subdividing according to body mass index (BMI) and metabolic syndrome status. Plasma MMPs and TIMPs levels were measured. The assessment of endothelial function was characterized in people with obesity, overweight and non-obese, using laser Doppler Flowmetry. Obese people have elevated MMP-1, MMP-2, TIMP-1, TIMP-2 levels and decreased MMP-3/TIMP-1 and MMP-9/TIMP-1 ratios compared with non-obese people. MMP-1 levels and MMP-1/TIMP-1 ratio were positively correlated with BMI and waist circumference (WC) while MMP-2 levels were negatively correlated with BMI and WC values in obese people. MMP-3 levels and MMP-3/TIMP-1 ratio were positively correlated with systolic blood pressure (SBP) or diastolic blood pressure (DBP) in obese and metabolic syndrome people. Additionally, MMP-9 levels and MMP-9/TIMP-1 ratio were negatively correlated with endothelium-dependent response in obese and metabolic syndrome people. MMP-1, MMP-2, TIMP-1, TIMP-2 levels were increased in obese subjects. Significant correlations between anthropometric parameters and MMP-1 as well as MMP-1/TIMP-1 ratio supported these results. MMP-3 and -9 levels as well as their ratios with TIMP-1 were associated with blood pressure and endothelial-dependent response, respectively. In conclusion, our results demonstrated that MMP-1, MMP-3 and MMP-9 levels were correlated with several obesity-related parameters including BMI, WC, blood pressure and endothelial-dependent response. Our findings will hopefully provide new aspects for the use of MMPs and TIMPs as clinical biomarkers in obesity-related cardiovascular diseases such as metabolic syndrome and hypertension. The lack of measure of MMPs activity in plasma and relevant organs/tissues in obesity and metabolic syndrome is considered as a limitation in this report.