Objective - To detect matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-9 in serum and CSF and determine relationships between MMP activity and severity of disease, duration of clinical signs, and duration of hospitalization in dogs with acute intervertebral disk disease (IVDD). Animals - 35 dogs with acute IVDD and 8 clinically normal control dogs. Procedure - CSF and serum were collected from affected and control dogs. Zymography was used to detect MMP-9. Results - Activity of MMP-9 in CSF was detected in 6 of 35 dogs with IVDD; activity was significantly more common in dogs with duration of signs < 24 hours. Paraplegic dogs were more likely to have MMP-9 activity in the CSF than non-paraplegic dogs. No significant difference in hospitalization time was detected in dogs with IVDD between those with and without activity of MMP-9 in the CSF. Serum MMP-9 was detected more frequently in dogs with IVDD than in control dogs. Conclusions and clinical relevance - Data were consistent with results of experimental rodent spinal cord injury studies that indicate that MMP-9 is expressed early during secondary injury.
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