One of the major physiological functions of vascular endothelial cells (ECs) includes remodeling of vessel walls. ECs secrete matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) to degrade extracellular matrix (ECM), such as elastin and collagen. At least 23 different MMPs have been identified and have the capacity to degrade components of ECM. For example, MMP-9, known as a gelatinase, can degrade elastic fibers. The balance between MMPs and their specific inhibitors, tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases (TIMPs), tightly governs vascular remodeling and is belived to play a central role in the pathogenesis of arterial aneurysms [1].

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.