Matrix Metalloproteinase 9 (MMP 9)

Optimal Result: 0 - 900 ng/mL.

Matrix Metalloproteinase 9 (MMP-9), also known as gelatinase B, is a critical enzyme in the human body that plays a vital role in remodeling the extracellular matrix, the network of proteins and other substances surrounding cells. It belongs to a larger family of enzymes known as matrix metalloproteinases, which are responsible for breaking down various components of the extracellular matrix.

MMP-9 specifically targets collagen and gelatin, important structural proteins in tissues. By breaking down these proteins, MMP-9 aids in processes like wound healing, tissue repair, and angiogenesis (the formation of new blood vessels). This makes it an essential player in normal physiological processes. However, MMP-9's activity isn't always beneficial; its overactivity or dysregulation is linked to various diseases.

Elevated levels of MMP-9 have been associated with inflammatory diseases, such as arthritis, where it contributes to the breakdown of joint tissues. It's also implicated in cancer, as its ability to remodel the extracellular matrix can aid in tumor growth and the spread of cancer cells. In heart disease, MMP-9 can weaken blood vessel walls, contributing to conditions like aneurysms.

In response to its significant role in various diseases, MMP-9 has become a target for drug development. Researchers are exploring ways to inhibit its activity to treat conditions where its overactivity causes harm.


Yabluchanskiy A, Ma Y, Iyer RP, Hall ME, Lindsey ML. Matrix metalloproteinase-9: Many shades of function in cardiovascular disease. Physiology (Bethesda). 2013 Nov;28(6):391-403. doi: 10.1152/physiol.00029.2013. PMID: 24186934; PMCID: PMC3858212.

Huang H. Matrix Metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) as a Cancer Biomarker and MMP-9 Biosensors: Recent Advances. Sensors (Basel). 2018 Sep 27;18(10):3249. doi: 10.3390/s18103249. PMID: 30262739; PMCID: PMC6211011.

Seitz-Holland, J., Seethaler, M., Makris, N. et al. The association of matrix metalloproteinase 9 (MMP9) with hippocampal volume in schizophrenia: a preliminary MRI study. Neuropsychopharmacol. 47, 524–530 (2022).

Kim, WU., Min, SY., Cho, ML. et al. Elevated matrix metalloproteinase-9 in patients with systemic sclerosis. Arthritis Res Ther 7, R71 (2004).

Matrix Metalloproteinase-9 as an Important Contributor to the Pathophysiology of Depression, Front. Neurol., 18 March 2022 Sec. Neurological Biomarkers Volume 13 - 2022 |


What does it mean if your Matrix Metalloproteinase 9 (MMP 9) result is too high?

Elevated levels of Matrix Metalloproteinase 9 (MMP-9) can indicate several health conditions, given its role in the body's tissue remodeling processes. MMP-9, known for breaking down extracellular matrix components, plays a crucial role in tissue repair, wound healing, and the development of new blood vessels. However, when its levels are high, it can lead to various pathological conditions.

One of the primary concerns with elevated MMP-9 levels is its association with inflammatory diseases such as arthritis. In such conditions, excessive MMP-9 activity can lead to the breakdown of joint tissue, exacerbating inflammation and pain. Similarly, in the context of heart disease, high MMP-9 levels can weaken blood vessel walls, increasing the risk of conditions like aneurysms.

Furthermore, in cancer, elevated MMP-9 levels are a significant concern. MMP-9 aids in the breakdown of barriers that normally confine tumor cells, facilitating cancer metastasis – the spread of cancer cells to new areas of the body. This makes it an important marker for cancer progression and a target for potential treatments.

Elevated MMP-9 levels are also implicated in other conditions like lung diseases, where they can contribute to tissue damage and fibrosis. In summary, while MMP-9 is essential for normal physiological processes, its elevated levels can be indicative of various diseases, especially those involving inflammation, tissue damage, and cancer. Therefore, monitoring MMP-9 levels can be important in diagnosing and understanding the progression of these conditions.

What does it mean if your Matrix Metalloproteinase 9 (MMP 9) result is too low?

Decreased levels of Matrix Metalloproteinase 9 (MMP-9) can have various implications for the body's ability to remodel and repair tissues. MMP-9 is crucial in breaking down extracellular matrix components like collagen, which is essential for processes like wound healing, tissue remodeling, and angiogenesis (formation of new blood vessels). When MMP-9 levels are low, these processes can be impaired.

In wound healing, for example, reduced MMP-9 activity might lead to slower or incomplete healing processes. This is because MMP-9 helps in clearing damaged tissue and paves the way for new tissue to form. Similarly, in tissue remodeling, which occurs not just in healing injuries but also in normal physiological processes like bone growth and uterine changes during menstrual cycles, lowered MMP-9 levels could hinder efficient remodeling, potentially leading to various health issues.

Moreover, MMP-9 plays a role in angiogenesis, which is crucial not only for healing wounds but also for supplying blood to growing tissues and organs. Insufficient MMP-9 activity could affect the formation of new blood vessels, impacting tissue health and repair.

It's important to note, however, that decreased MMP-9 activity isn't always harmful. In some cases, such as in certain types of cancer, lower MMP-9 levels might actually be beneficial, as high levels of MMP-9 can facilitate cancer metastasis by breaking down barriers that typically confine tumor cells.

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