Blood-brain barrier (BBB) leakage and brain edema is a critical part of stroke pathophysiology. In this mini-review, we briefly
survey the potential role of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) in BBB dysfunction. A large body of data in both experimental models as
well as clinical patient populations suggests that MMPs may disrupt BBB permeability and interfere with cell-cell signaling in the
neurovascular unit. Hence, ongoing efforts are underway to validate MMPs as potential biomarkers in stroke as well as pursue MMP
blockers as therapeutic opportunities. Because BBB perturbations may also occur in neurodegeneration, MMPs and associated neurovascular
unit mechanisms may also be potential targets in a broader range of CNS disorders.
Keywords: Brain edema, neuroprotection, neurodegeneration, neurovascular unit, stroke recovery, Blood-brain barrier (BBB), matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), BBB permeability, biomarkers, CNS disorders.
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