Matrix metalloproteinase-9 and metalloproteinase-2 activity and expression is reduced by melatonin during experimental colitis

Emanuela Esposito, Emanuela Mazzon, Luisa Riccardi, Rocco Caminiti, Rosaria Meli, Salvatore Cuzzocrea

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are associated with matrix turnover in both physiological and pathological conditions. Several data indicate that MMPs play an important role in the pathogenesis of colitis. Various evidence has documented that the pineal secretory product melatonin exerts an important anti-inflammatory effect in different experimental models including colitis. However, no reports are available on the relationship between the activity and expression of MMPs and anti-inflammatory effect of melatonin. The aim of the present study was to evaluate whether melatonin prevents the experimental colitis in rats by regulating MMP-9 and MMP-2 activity and expression. Colitis was induced by intracolonic instillation of dinitrobenzene sulphonic acid (DNBS). Four days after DNBS administration, colon TNF-α production was associated with colon damage. Biochemical methods and zymography were used to analyse MMP-9 and MMP-2 activities in colon tissues from DNBS-injured rats. Our studies reveal that melatonin prevented colon injury and lipid peroxidation in rats at 4 days after DNBS-induced colitis. Melatonin also reduced proMMP-9 and MMP-2 activities that were induced in the colon tissues by DNBS administration. Reduced MMP-9 and MMP-2 activities were associated with reduced expression of TNF-α. We conclude that melatonin's ability to reduce DNBS-induced colon injury in rats is related to a reduction in proMMP-9 and MMP-2 activities and expression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)166-173
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Pineal Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2008



  • Colon damage
  • Dinitrobenzene sulphonic acid
  • Free radicals
  • Inflammation
  • Metalloproteinase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology

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