Acute and fulminant liver failure induced by viral hepatitis, alcohol or other hepatotoxic drugs, are associated with tumor necrosis factor (TNF) production. In a mouse model of lethal hepatitis induced by TNF, apoptosis and necrosis of hepatocytes, but also lethality, hypothermia and influx of leukocytes into the liver, are prevented by a broad-spectrum matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) inhibitor, BB-94. Mice deficient in MMP-2, MMP-3 or MMP-9 had lower levels of apoptosis and necrosis of hepatocytes, and better survival. We found induction of MMP-9 activity and fibronectin degradation. Our findings suggest that several MMP's play a critical role in acute, fulminant hepatitis by degrading the extracellular matrix and allowing massive leukocyte influx in the liver. BB-94 also prevented lethality in TNF/interferon-gamma therapy in tumor-bearing mice. A broad-spectrum MMP inhibitor may be potentially useful for the treatment of patients with acute and perhaps chronic liver failure, and in cancer therapies using inflammatory cytokines.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)293-294
Number of pages2
JournalJournal of Hepatology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2002


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