[en] The effect of galardin, a broad-spectrum matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) inhibitor, was studied in mice kept on a high fat diet (HFD). Five-week-old male wild-type mice were fed the HFD (42% fat) for up to 12 weeks and were daily injected intraperitoneally with the inhibitor (100 mg/kg) or with vehicle. After 12 weeks of the HFD, the body weights of both groups were comparable, but the weight of the isolated subcutaneous (SC) or gonadal (GON) fat deposits was significantly lower in the inhibitor-treated group than in the control group (88 +/- 11 versus 251 +/- 66 mg, respectively, for SC fat [P<0.05]; 90 +/- 24 versus 217 +/- 30 mg, respectively, for GON fat [P<0.02]). The number of adipocytes was somewhat higher and the diameter was somewhat smaller (but not significantly) in adipose tissues of the inhibitor-treated group. Adipose tissue of the inhibitor-treated mice contained more collagen than did that of the vehicle-treated mice (Sirius red-stained area of 42 +/- 2.6% versus 22 +/- 4.4%, respectively, for SC fat [P<0.05]; 21 +/- 5.1% versus 4.7 +/- 0.92%, respectively, for GON fat [P<0.01]); a distinct collagen-rich cap was formed around the inhibitor-treated tissue. In situ zymography with casein- or gelatin-containing gels confirmed a reduced MMP activity in SC and GON adipose tissues of inhibitor-treated mice. Thus, in this model, growth and development of adipose tissue appears to be limited by the formation of a collagen-rich matrix cap around the inhibitor-treated tissue. These data suggest a functional role for MMPs in the development of adipose tissue.