Mammary neoplasms are among the major canine tumors, and half of these are considered malignant. One of the most important characteristics of malignant tumors is their hability for invasion and metastasis, with neoplastic cells leaving the main tumor mass after the degradation of the basement membrane and extracellular matrix. Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are proteolytic enzymes containing zinc which are capable of degrading and remodeling the extracellular matrix, facilitating cell migration and invasion of surrounding tissues. The involvement of MMPs has been demonstrated in many pathological processes, including tumors in humans and dogs. Moreover, MMPs are related to malignancy and prognosis of canine and human tumors. Therefore, the objectives of this project are to identify the immunohistochemical expression of matrix metalloproteinase 9 (MMP9) in canine mammary gland tumors, as well as determine possible relationships between the different histological patterns and their degree of malignancy with immunohistochemical expression of MMP9.
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