Skip to main content
  • Poster presentation
  • Open access
  • Published:

Haemozoin enhances MMP-9 production through MAPK p38-dependent mechanisms in human adherent monocytes

In human adherent monocytes matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) expression and secretion is upregulated by the lipid moiety of natural haemozoin (nHz, malarial pigment). A role for 15-(S, R)-hydroxy-6, 8, 11, 13-eicosatetraenoic acid (15-HETE), a nHZ lipoperoxidation product, has been suggested. Here, the underlying mechanisms were investigated, focusing on the involvement of mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs). Either early or late p38 MAPK phosphorylation was induced by nHz, which did not modify basal phosphorylation and expression ratios of extracellular signal-regulated kinase-1/2 and c-jun N-terminal kinase-1/2. 15-HETE mimicked nHZ effects on p38 MAPK. Lipid-free synthetic (s)HZ and delipidized (d)HZ did not. Both nHZ and 15-HETE promoted the phosphorylation of MAPK-activated protein kinase-2, a known substrate of p38 MAPK. Such an effect was abolished by SB203580 (synthetic p38 MAPK inhibitor). SB203580 also abrogated the nHZ-dependent and 15-HETE-dependent enhancement of MMP-9 mRNA and protein levels in cell lysates and supernatants. These data suggest that nHZ and 15-HETE upregulate MMP-9 expression and secretion through the activation of p38 MAPK pathway in human adherent monocytes. This work provides new evidence on the mechanisms underlying MMP-9 deregulation in malaria. These data might help to design new specific drugs for adjuvant therapy in complicated malaria.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Rights and permissions

Open Access  This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made.

The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder.

To view a copy of this licence, visit

The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated in a credit line to the data.

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Khadjavi, A., Valente, E., Giribaldi, G. et al. Haemozoin enhances MMP-9 production through MAPK p38-dependent mechanisms in human adherent monocytes. Malar J 13 (Suppl 1), P73 (2014).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • DOI: