Email updates

Keep up to date with the latest news and content from BMC Research Notes and BioMed Central.

Open Access Research article

Upregulation of MMP-13 and TIMP-1 expression in response to mechanical strain in MC3T3-E1 osteoblastic cells

Yongming Li*, Lin Tang, Yinzhong Duan and Yin Ding

Author Affiliations

Department of Orthodontics, College of Stomatology, The Fourth Military Medical University, Xi'an, Shaanxi Province 710032, PR China

For all author emails, please log on.

BMC Research Notes 2010, 3:309  doi:10.1186/1756-0500-3-309

Published: 17 November 2010



Mechanical strain plays a significant role in the regulation of bone matrix turnover, which is mediated in part by matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-13 and tissue inhibitors of matrix metalloproteinase (TIMP)-1. However, little is known about the correlation between mechanical strain and osteoblastic cell activities, including extracellular matrix (ECM) metabolism. Herein, we determined the effect of different magnitudes of cyclic tensile strain (0%, 6%, 12%, and 18%) on MMP-13 and TIMP-1 mRNA and protein expression in MC3T3-E1 osteoblasts. Furthermore, we employed specific inhibitors to examine the role of distinct signal transduction pathways known to mediate cellular responses to mechanical strain.


We identified a magnitude-dependent increase in MMP-13 and TIMP-1 mRNA and protein levels in response to mechanical strains corresponding to 6%, 12%, and 18% elongation. The strain-induced increases in MMP-13 and TIMP-1 mRNA expression were inhibited by PD098059 and cycloheximide, respectively.


Our results suggest a mechanism for the regulation of bone matrix metabolism mediated by the differential expression of MMP-13 and TIMP-1 in response to increasing magnitudes of mechanical strain.