The expression of matrix metalloproteinase matrilysin indicates the degree of inflammation in ulcerative colitis
Any alteration in the synthesis and breakdown of the extracellular matrix is important in tissue remodeling during inflammation and wound healing. The degradation of the extracellular matrix components is regulated by a cascade of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs). The present study attempted to assess the relationship between MMPs and the degree of inflammation in ulcerative colitis. Methods: The expression of MMPs, including MMP-1, -2, -3, -7 (matrilysin), and -9, and that of their inhibitors (tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases [TIMP]-1 and -2) were analyzed immunohistochemically by using 52 formalin-fixed and paraffin-embedded specimens from patients with ulcerative colitis who had undergone a biopsy or surgery. Results: It was observed that MMP-1, -2, and -9, and the TIMPs were expressed in stromal cells, MMP-3 was expressed in both the epithelial cells and stromal components, and matrilysin was expressed only in the epithelial cells on the edge of ulcers. The expression of the MMPs was increased compared with that of the TIMPs. The frequency of matrilysin expression was increased corresponding to the severity of the inflammation. Matrilysin was also expressed in epithelial cells with dysplasia and cancer. Conclusions: Matrilysin expression could be an important marker of activity and could be used for the prediction of subsequent transformation in patients with ulcerative colitis.
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