, Volume 445, Issue 6, pp 603-609
Date: 28 Sep 2004

Eutopic endometrium and peritoneal, ovarian and bowel endometriotic tissues express a different profile of matrix metalloproteinases-2, -3 and -11, and of tissue inhibitor metalloproteinases-1 and -2

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Endometriosis is subsequent to the ability of endometrial glands to invade normal tissues. Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs)—enzymes that mediate normal tissue turnover, including endometrial breakdown during menstruation—appear to be involved in this invasive process. Here, we examined the immunohistochemical expression of MMP-2, MMP-3, MMP-11, tissue inhibitor metalloproteinase (TIMP)-1 and TIMP-2 in endometrium from women with (n=9) or without endometriosis (n=18) in comparison with peritoneal (n=20), ovarian (n=20) and colorectal endometriosis (n=20). Women with endometriosis showed decreased endometrial MMP-2 expression compared with women without endometriosis (mean±SD positive cells: 24.3±28.3% and 69.3±12.1%), together with loss of MMP-3 expression (0 versus 17.5%±20.2). MMP-11, TIMP-1 and TIMP-2 expression was similar in the two groups. Endometrial MMP-2, -3 and -11 expression and TIMP-1 and -2 expression were similar in women with endometriosis and in those with peritoneal endometriosis. MMP-2, -3 and -11 expression was higher in colorectal endometriosis than in ovarian and peritoneal endometriosis. TIMP-2 expression was lower in colorectal endometriosis (P=0.0002) and ovarian endometriotic cysts (P=0.003) than in peritoneal endometriosis. TIMP-1 expression did not vary according to the location of endometriotic lesions. These results suggest that MMP-2 and -3 and TIMP-2 may be involved in the pathogenesis of endometriosis. Interestingly, MMP-2 and -3 overexpression was related to the infiltrative nature of endometriotic lesions, with possible sequential expression from peritoneal to colorectal endometriosis.