Pharmacopsychiatry 2003; 36 - 188
DOI: 10.1055/s-2003-825439

Increase of matrix metalloproteinase-9 in peripheral blood of multiple sclerosis patients treated with high doses of methylprednisolone

D Mirowska 1, 2, 3, W Wicha 3, A Członkowski 2, A Członkowska 2, 3, F Holsboer 1, F Weber 1
  • 1Max-Planck-Institute of Psychiatry, Munich, Germany
  • 2Department of Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology, Medical University of Warsaw, Warsaw, Poland
  • 32nd Department of Neurology, Institute of Psychiatry and Neurology, Warsaw, Poland

Increased blood-brain-barrier permeability during relapses of multiple sclerosis depends on several factors including matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs).

The aim of the study was to investigate, whether different doses of methylprednisolone have any short or long term effect on MMPs and their inhibitors.

30 patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis were treated with 1000mg (group I) or 500mg (group II) methylprednisolone intravenously for five days. EDSS score, MMP-9, MMP-2 and TIMP-1 levels were determined before and up to 3 months after treatment.

Median EDSS score decreased in both groups. MMP-9 plasma levels increased at day 7 followed by a decrease at day 14 and month 3 in group I. No effect of methylprednisolone was noted on TIMP-1 and MMP-2 plasma levels.

Therefore the well known effect of methylprednisolone in restoring the blood-brain-barrier may possibly be related rather to other mechanisms than suppression of MMP-9– e.g. to suppression of adhesion molecules or pro-inflammatory cytokines.