Expression of matrix metalloproteinases-2 and -9 in intestinal tissue of patients with inflammatory bowel diseases

Dig Liver Dis. 2005 Aug;37(8):584-92. doi: 10.1016/j.dld.2005.02.011.


Background/aims: Matrix metalloproteinases are major contributors in the breakdown and reconstitution of basement membranes and extracellular matrix in pathophysiological processes. We assessed the expression of matrix metalloproteinases-2 and -9 in intestinal tissue of patients with inflammatory bowel disease.

Patients/methods: Resected tissue specimens from patients with Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis and control tissue from patients with a colorectal carcinoma were used for enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, zymography, activity assay, reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction and immunohistochemistry to evaluate the expression of these matrix metalloproteinases.

Results: Matrix metalloproteinase-2 and more strongly matrix metalloproteinase-9 protein and mRNA were markedly increased in inflammatory bowel disease tissues, with the highest levels in severely inflamed tissues. Immunohistochemistry showed that matrix metalloproteinase-2 was present in the extracellular matrix of the submucosa, with a lower but more generalised expression in the severely inflamed regions. Matrix metalloproteinase-9 was most prominent in polymorphonuclear leukocytes and was increased, also in activity, in all inflammatory bowel disease tissues. An increased matrix metalloproteinase-9 expression in the extracellular matrix was observed in relation to the severity of inflammation.

Conclusions: Matrix metalloproteinases-2 and -9 are enhanced in the intestinal tissue and seem to be actively involved in the inflammatory and remodelling processes in inflammatory bowel disease, without major differences between CD and UC.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Basement Membrane / enzymology
  • Case-Control Studies
  • DNA Primers
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Epithelial Cells / enzymology
  • Female
  • Fibroblasts / enzymology
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / enzymology*
  • Intestines / enzymology*
  • Male
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 2 / genetics
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 2 / metabolism*
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 9 / genetics
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 9 / metabolism*
  • Middle Aged
  • Neutrophils / enzymology
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Severity of Illness Index


  • DNA Primers
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 2
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 9