In a comprehensive immunohistochemical study of the expression of ten metalloproteinases (MMPs) and their four inhibitors (TIMPs) in 115 non-small cell lung carcinomas (NSCLCs), the findings have been correlated with the histological and clinical features of the tumours. All MMPs and TIMPs were expressed in tumours, with frequencies ranging from 41% for MMP-2 to 68% for MMP-13. Stromal immunoreactivity ranged from 6% for TIMP-4 to 87% for MMP-13. In some tumours, an overexpression of these proteins, as revealed by stronger staining in cancer cells than in adjacent normal bronchial epithelium, was also observed. The frequency ranged from 1% for MMP-3 to 28% for MMP-13. Compared with squamous cell carcinoma (SqCC), adenocarcinoma (AdC) more frequently overexpressed MMP-1, -11, -13, -14, and TIMP-2, and TIMP-1 and/or TIMP-2 overexpression positively correlated with more advanced stage disease. None of the MMP or TIMP expression correlated with the ras genotype of the tumours. The higher frequency of MMP overexpression in AdC than in SqCC may relate to the greater tendency of the former for systemic metastasis. The association of TIMP-1 overexpression with more advanced disease may suggest a role in prognosis.
Copyright 2000 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.