Objective: To determine whether alterations in the secretion and regulation of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) and their inhibitors are present in uterine endometrial cells from endometriosis patients.
Study design: In an in vitro study, uterine endometrial cells from 19 regularly cycling women with and 32 without endometriosis were treated with diethyl stilbestrol, promegestone (R5020), interleukin-1 (IL-1) and tumor necrosis factor a (TNF-alpha). Culture supernatants were assayed for MMPs 1, 2, 3, and 9, and for tissue inhibitors of MMP (TIMP-1 and TIMP-2) by ELISA.
Results: MMP-3 was secreted in high concentrations, moderate concentrations were seen for MMP-1 and MMP-2, and very low concentrations for MMP-9. Substantially more TIMP-1 than TIMP-2 was secreted. MMP-1 and MMP-3 were uniformly attenuated by R5020, while MMP-2 was not influenced by hormone treatment. MMP-3 was upregulated by TNF-alpha in all samples while IL-1 only increased secretion in cells from endometriosis patients.
Conclusion: The upregulation of MMP-3 by IL-1 may contribute to an increased invasiveness of uterine endometrial fragments in endometriosis patients.