Objective: Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) contribute to inflammatory and degenerative processes in injured nerves. Since mast cells release mediators which upregulate and activate MMPs, we tested the hypothesis that activation of mast cells is responsible for changes in the expression and activity of MMP-2 and MMP-9 in the injured peripheral nerve. Methods: The sciatic nerve was partially ligated in Wistar rats in which mast cells were stabilized with sodium cromoglycate. Expression and activity of MMP-2 and MMP-9 were measured in the injured and contralateral nerve using gelatin zymography, and compared between mast cell-stabilized and control groups. Results: Expression and activity of MMP-9 were increased in both the injured and contralateral nerve, but activity of MMP2 was slightly reduced by nerve injury. However, stabilization of mast cells did not alter the changes in expression or activity of MMP-2 and MMP-9 following nerve injury. Conclusion: These findings suggest that the contribution of MMP-9 upregulation to the inflammatory and degenerative changes that follow nerve injury is independent of mast cell activation.