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Matrix metalloproteinase landscape in the imiquimod-induced skin inflammation mouse model.

Biochimie 2024 March 20
Inflammation and autoimmunity are known as central processes in many skin diseases, including psoriasis. It is therefore important to develop pre-clinical models that describe disease-related aspects to enable testing of pharmaceutical drug candidates and formulations. A widely accepted pre-clinical model of psoriasis is the imiquimod (IMQ)-induced skin inflammation mouse model, where topically applied IMQ provokes local skin inflammation. In this study, we investigated the abundance of a subset of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) in skin from mice with IMQ-induced skin inflammation and skin from naïve mice using targeted proteomics. Our findings reveal a significant increase in the abundance of MMP-2, MMP-7, MMP-8, and MMP-13 after treatment with IMQ compared to the control skin, while MMP-3, MMP-9, and MMP-10 were exclusively detected in the IMQ-treated skin. The increased abundance and broader representation of MMPs in the IMQ-treated skin provide valuable insight into the pathophysiology of skin inflammation in the IMQ model, adding to previous studies on cytokine levels using conventional immunochemical methods. Specifically, the changes in the MMP profiles observed in the IMQ-treated skin resemble the MMP patterns found in skin lesions of individuals with psoriasis. Ultimately, the differences in MMP abundance under IMQ-induced inflammation as compared to non-inflamed control skin can be exploited as a model to investigate drug efficacy or performance of drug delivery systems.

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