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Mediators of Inflammation
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 7369020, 14 pages
Review Article

Matrix Metalloproteinase 9 in Epilepsy: The Role of Neuroinflammation in Seizure Development

2nd Department of Neurology, Institute of Psychiatry and Neurology, Jana III Sobieskiego 9, 02-957 Warsaw, Poland

Received 17 October 2016; Accepted 27 November 2016

Academic Editor: Ulrich Eisel

Copyright © 2016 Elżbieta Bronisz and Iwona Kurkowska-Jastrzębska. 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 metalloproteinase 9 is a proteolytic enzyme which is recently one of the more often studied biomarkers. Its possible use as a biomarker of neuronal damage in stroke, heart diseases, tumors, multiple sclerosis, and epilepsy is being widely indicated. In epilepsy, MMP-9 is suggested to play a role in epileptic focus formation and in the stimulation of seizures. The increase of MMP-9 activity in the epileptic focus was observed both in animal models and in clinical studies. MMP-9 contributes to formation of epileptic focus, for example, by remodeling of synapses. Its proteolytic action on the elements of blood-brain barrier and activation of chemotactic processes facilitates accumulation of inflammatory cells and induces seizures. Also modification of glutamatergic transmission by MMP-9 is associated with seizures. In this review we will try to recapitulate the results of previous studies about MMP-9 in terms of its association with epilepsy. We will discuss the mechanisms of its actions and present the results revealed in animal models and clinical studies. We will also provide a comparison of the results of various studies on MMP-9 levels in the context of its possible use as a biomarker of the activity of epilepsy.