Matrix-metalloproteinase expression and gelatinase activity in the avian retina and their influence on Müller glia proliferation

Warren A. Campbell, Ameya Deshmukh, Sydney Blum, Levi Todd, Ninoshka Mendonca, Jessica Weist, Joshua Zent, Thanh V. Hoang, Seth Blackshaw, Jennifer Leight, Andy J. Fischer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Gelatinases are a class of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) that degrade the extracellular matrix (ECM) to regulate intercellular signaling and cell migration. Gelatinase activity is tightly regulated via proteolytic activation and through the expression of tissue inhibitors of matrix metalloproteinases (TIMPs). Gelatinase activity has been implicated in retinal pathophysiology in different animal models and human disease. However, the role of gelatinases in retinal regeneration remains uncertain. In this study we investigated the dynamic changes in gelatinase activity in response to excitotoxic damage and how this enzymatic activity influenced the formation of Müller glia progenitor cells (MGPCs) in the avian retina. This study used hydrogels containing a gelatinase-degradable fluorescent peptide to measure gelatinase activity in vitro and dye quenched gelatin to localize enzymatic activity in situ. These data were corroborated by using single cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq). Gelatinase mRNA, specifically MMP2, was detected in oligodendrocytes and Non-Astrocytic Inner Retinal Glia (NIRG). Total retinal gelatinase activity was reduced following NMDA-treatment, and sustained inhibition of MMP2 prior to damage or growth factor treatment increased the formation of proliferating MGPCs and c-fos signaling. We observed that microglia, Müller glia (MG), and NIRG cells were involved in regulating changes in gelatinase activity through TIMP2 and TIMP3. Collectively, these findings implicate MMP2 in reprogramming of Muller glia into MGPCs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number112984
JournalExperimental Neurology
StatePublished - Oct 2019


  • Gelatinase
  • MMP2
  • Microglia
  • Müller glia
  • Regeneration
  • TIMP2
  • TIMP3

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Developmental Neuroscience


Dive into the research topics of 'Matrix-metalloproteinase expression and gelatinase activity in the avian retina and their influence on Müller glia proliferation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this