Plasma matrix metalloproteinase-1 and tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase-1 as biomarkers of ulcerative colitis activity

World J Gastroenterol. 2003 Dec;9(12):2843-5. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v9.i12.2843.


Aim: Overexpression of mucosal metalloproteinases (MMP) has been demonstrated recently in inflammatory bowel disease. Their activity can be counterbalanced by the tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases (TIMP). The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of ulcerative colitis (UC) on MMP-1 and TIMP-1 plasma concentrations, as two possible biomarkers of the disease activity.

Methods: MMP-1 and TIMP-1 plasma concentrations were measured with an enzyme immunoassay in 16 patients with endoscopically confirmed active UC.

Results: Plasma concentrations of both MMP-1 (13.7 +/- 0.2 ng/ml) and TIMP-1 (799 +/- 140 ng/ml) were significantly elevated in UC patients in comparison to healthy controls (11.9 +/- 0.9 ng/ml and 220 +/- 7 ng/ml respectively). There was no correlation between TIMP-1 and MMP-1 concentrations (r=-0.02). TIMP-1 levels revealed significant positive correlations with scored endoscopic degree of mucosal injury, disease activity index and clinical activity index values as well as C-reactive protein concentration. There was no correlation between MMP-1 and laboratory, clinical or endoscopic indices of the disease activity.

Conclusion: These results confirm the role of both MMP-1 and TIMP-1 in the pathogenesis of ulcerative colitis. However only TIMP-1 can be useful as a biomarker of the disease activity, demonstrating association with clinical and endoscopic pictures.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • C-Reactive Protein / analysis
  • Colitis, Ulcerative / blood*
  • Colitis, Ulcerative / enzymology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 1 / blood*
  • Middle Aged
  • Reference Values
  • Tissue Inhibitor of Metalloproteinase-1 / blood*


  • Biomarkers
  • Tissue Inhibitor of Metalloproteinase-1
  • C-Reactive Protein
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 1