Expression of MMPs and TIMPs in primary epithelial cell cultures of the upper aerodigestive tract seeded on the surface of a novel polymeric biomaterial


Using standard cell biological and biochemical experimental approaches we were able to test the ability of a particular polymer construct to support the adhesion, proliferation, and the cellular acitivity of pharyngeal cells. The delicate balance between Matrix Metalloproteinases (MMPs) and their endogenous inhibitors (Tissue Inhibitor of MMPs, TIMPs) have a decisive function in the remodeling of the extracellular matrix during cellular ingrowth. Novel polymeric biomaterials may be useful to develop new therapeutic options in head and neck surgery. Methods: Primary cell cultures of the pharynx of Sprague-Dawley rats were seeded on the surface of a thermoplastic multi-block copolymer and on a polystyrene surface as control. Conditioned media of the primary cells was analyzed for MMPs and TIMPs. The MMP and TIMP expression was analysed by zymography and a radiometric enzyme assay. Results: No statistically significant differences in the levels of MMP-1, MMP-2, MMP-9 and TIMPs were detected between cells grown on the novel polymer surface versus control. Conclusion: An appropriate understanding of the molecular machinery that regulates gene expression and cellular growth in tissue engineered contructs is the requirement for an optimal adaptation of biodegradable biomaterials to develop new therapeutic options in otolaryngology and head and neck surgery.
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