Migration of Eosinophils through Basement Membrane Components in Vitro: Role of Matrix Metalloproteinase-9

Shinji Okada, Hirohito Kita, Terry J. George, Gerald J. Gleich, Kristin M. Leiferman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

230 Scopus citations


In general, inflammatory cells cross basement membranes by producing proteinases. To investigate the role of proteinases in eosinophil basement membrane migration, we studied peripheral blood eosinophils in Matrigel®-coated chemotaxis chambers. Electron microscopy showed degradation of the Matrigel® layer when eosinophils, added to the upper chamber, transmigrated the membrane in the presence of both platelet-activating factor (PAF) in the lower chamber and interleukin (IL)-5 in both chambers. In the absence of either or both PAF and IL-5, no changes occurred in the Matrigel® layer. Matrigel® transmigration of eosinophils induced by PAF and IL-5 was inhibited by 1,10-phenanthroline, batimastat, 3,4-dichloroisocoumarin, chymostatin, and a neutralizing antibody for the matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-9, indicating that serine proteinase(s) and MMP, specifically MMP-9, were involved in the transmigration of eosinophils through Matrigel®. In contrast, eosinophil migration through a bare membrane was not affected by batimastat. Using gelatin zymography and immunoblotting, MMP-9 was detected in the migration upper chamber supernatant of the eosinophil transmigration assay and in the conditioned medium of eosinophils. Release of MMP-9 by eosinophils was increased by IL-5, PAF, or both, but the substrate-degrading activity of MMP-9 was increased only in the presence of both IL-5 and PAF, indicating that the releasing and activating mechanisms of MMP-9 are involved in eosinophil basement membrane migration. This study implicates MMP-9 in basement membrane migration of eosinophils and suggests its involvement in inflammatory diseases where tissue eosinophilia plays a role.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)519-528
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican journal of respiratory cell and molecular biology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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