The matrix metalloproteinases and CNS plasticity: An overview

E. A. Milward, C. Fitzsimmons, A. Szklarczyk, K. Conant

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


The matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are expressed in response to pro-inflammatory stimuli and other triggers. The MMPs cleave numerous substrates including extracellular matrix components, cytokines and growth factors. In the CNS, while most studied in the context of disease, the many physiological functions of the MMPs are now becoming appreciated. This review provides an overview of the growing body of evidence for physiological roles of MMPs both in CNS development and in CNS plasticity in normal brain functioning, including learning and memory, as well as in CNS repair and reorganization as part of the neuroimmune response to injury.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9-19
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Neuroimmunology
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jul 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • CNS plasticity
  • Cognition
  • Development
  • Injury
  • Matrix metalloproteinases
  • TIMPs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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