Matrix metalloproteinases (MMP) and tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinases (TIMP) play a crucial role in physiological and pathological matrix turnover. This study aimed to determine the occurrence of MMP and TIMP in lung cancer patients with malignant pleural effusions (CA).
Methods: MMP-1, MMP-2, MMP-3, MMP-8, MMP-9, TIMP-1, and IMP-2 oncentrations were determined by ELISA and zymography in pleural effusions and plasma of 31 CA and 14 congestive heart failure (CHF) patients and in plasma of 18 healthy controls (CON).
Results: MMP-2, TIMP-1, and TIMP-2 ELISA-concentrations were increased in CA pleural fluid vs. CA plasma (p < 0.005, p < 0.005, p < 0.05), in contrast to MMP-9 being higher in plasma (p < 0.005). Pleural fluid MMP-1 and MMP-8 were increased in CA vs. CHF (p < 0.05, p < 0.005). MMP and TIMP plasma concentrations were not different in CA vs. CHF, but MMP-9, TIMP-1, and TIMP-2 were increased vs. CON (p < 0.005, each). Gelatine zymography MMP-9/MMP-2 ratios were increased in CA plasma vs. effusion fluid (p < 0.005), in CA vs. CHF plasma, CA vs. CHF effusions (p < 0.005 each), and in CA vs. CON plasma (p < 0.05).
Conclusions: MMP-2, TIMP-1, and TIMP-2 accumulate in the pleural compartment in CA and CHF, probably reflecting an unspecific pleural reaction. MMP-1 and MMP-8 are increased in cellular rich CA pleural effusions only. The determination of MMP-9/MMP-2 ratios in pleural fluid may contribute to differentiate CHF from CA effusions.