Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are enzymes that present a metallic element in their
structure. These enzymes are ubiquitously distributed and function as extracellular matrix (ECM)
remodelers. MMPs play a broad role in cardiovascular biology regulating processes such as cell
adhesion and function, cellular communication and differentiation, integration of mechanical force
and force transmission, tissue remodeling, modulation of damaged-tissue structural integrity, cellular
survival or apoptosis and regulation of inflammation-related cytokines and growth factors.
MMPs inhibition and downregulation are correlated with minimization of cardiac damage, i.e.,
Chinese herbal medicine has shown to stabilize abdominal aorta aneurysm due to its antiinflammatory,
antioxidant and MMP-2 and 9 inhibitory properties. Thus phyto-derived products
rise as promising sources for novel therapies focusing on MMPs inhibition and downregulation to
treat or prevent cardiovascular disorders.