Matrix metalloproteinases and tissue damage in HIV-tuberculosis immune reconstitution inflammatory syndrome

More about Open Access at the Crick


The HIV-TB-associated immune reconstitution inflammatory syndrome (TB-IRIS) can complicate combined treatments for HIV-1 and TB. Little is known about tissue damage in TB-IRIS. Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) degrade components of the extracellular matrix and consequently may play a role in such immunopathology. Here we investigated the involvement of MMPs in TB-IRIS. We determined MMP transcript abundance and secreted protein in Mycobacterium tuberculosis stimulated PBMCs from 22 TB-IRIS patients and 22 non-IRIS controls. We also measured MMP protein levels in corresponding serum and the effect of prednisone--which reduces the duration of symptoms in IRIS patients--or placebo treatment on MMP transcript and circulating MMP protein levels. PBMCs from TB-IRIS had increased MMP-1, -3, -7, and -10 transcript levels when compared with those of controls at either 6 or 24 h. Similarly, MMP-1, -3, -7, and -10 protein secretion in stimulated cultures was higher in TB-IRIS than in controls. Serum MMP-7 concentration was elevated in TB-IRIS and 2 weeks of corticosteroid therapy decreased this level, although not significantly. TB-IRIS is associated with a distinct pattern of MMP gene and protein activation. Modulation of dysregulated MMP activity may represent a novel therapeutic approach to alleviate TB-IRIS in HIV-TB patients undergoing treatment.

Journal details

Volume 44
Issue number 1
Pages 127-136
Publication date