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Clinical and Developmental Immunology
Volume 2013, Article ID 914104, 15 pages
Review Article

The Role of Microglia and Matrix Metalloproteinases Involvement in Neuroinflammation and Gliomas

1Clinic of Neurology, University of Zurich, Frauenklinikstrasse 26, 8091 Zurich, Switzerland
2Institute of Anatomy, University of Leipzig, Liebigstrasse 13, 04103 Leipzig, Germany

Received 10 May 2013; Accepted 20 June 2013

Academic Editor: Wolfgang J. Streit

Copyright © 2013 Helen Könnecke and Ingo Bechmann. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are involved in the pathogenesis of neuroinflammatory diseases (such as multiple sclerosis) as well as in the expansion of malignant gliomas because they facilitate penetration of anatomical barriers (such as the glia limitans) and migration within the neuropil. This review elucidates pathomechanisms and summarizes the current knowledge of the involvement of MMPs in neuroinflammation and glioma, invasion highlighting microglia as major sources of MMPs. The induction of expression, suppression, and multiple pathways of function of MMPs in these scenarios will also be discussed. Understanding the induction and action of MMPs might provide valuable information and reveal attractive targets for future therapeutic strategies.