Expression of metalloproteinases and metalloproteinase inhibitor in human arthritic synovium

Arthritis Rheum. 1991 Sep;34(9):1085-93. doi: 10.1002/art.1780340904.


The expression of messenger RNA encoding neutral metalloproteinases and the tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases (TIMP) in human arthritic synovium was evaluated in situ, using RNA probes. Interstitial collagenase and stromelysin were expressed by synovial lining cells in patients with active rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Proteinase messenger RNA was found both in cells expressing mononuclear phagocyte antigens and in cells that were negative for the antigens. TIMP was also expressed predominantly along the synovial lining layer. In highly inflammatory RA, TIMP expression appeared less intense than that of the proteases. In osteoarthritic synovium, TIMP was expressed at easily detectable levels, whereas the expression of collagenase and stromelysin was less prominent. The balance between expression of the metalloproteinases and of the metalloproteinase inhibitor in synovium appears to be altered during inflammation. These results are consistent with the notion that synovium plays different roles in the cartilage damage of RA and of osteoarthritis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Arthritis / metabolism*
  • Arthritis / pathology
  • Arthritis / physiopathology
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / metabolism
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / pathology
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / physiopathology
  • Gene Expression
  • Glycoproteins / genetics*
  • Glycoproteins / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Metalloendopeptidases / genetics*
  • Metalloendopeptidases / metabolism
  • Microbial Collagenase / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Middle Aged
  • Osteoarthritis / metabolism
  • Osteoarthritis / pathology
  • Osteoarthritis / physiopathology
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Synovial Membrane / metabolism*
  • Synovial Membrane / pathology
  • Synovial Membrane / physiopathology
  • Tissue Inhibitor of Metalloproteinases


  • Glycoproteins
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Tissue Inhibitor of Metalloproteinases
  • Metalloendopeptidases
  • Microbial Collagenase