Objective: Systemic sclerosis (SSc) is a connective tissue disease characterized by tissue fibrosis that reflects an imbalance between collagen production and degradation. Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are a family of endopeptidases involved in the remodelling of extracellular matrix (ECM). This activity is controlled by tissue inhibitors of MMP (TIMPs). Aim of this study was the evaluation of MMP-9/TIMP-1 and MMP-2/TIMP-2 systems in patients with SSc.
Design and methods: SearchLight Human MMP Array 1 was used to measure MMPs and TIMPs in 32 SSc patients and 32 matched healthy controls.
Results: SSc patients showed higher values of both MMP-9 and TIMP-1 in comparison with controls. The patients with anticentromere antibodies (ACA) positivity showed higher values of MMPs and TIMPs in comparison with either controls or the patients with anti-Scl70-positive antibodies.
Conclusion: Results of this investigation suggest that SSc patients with ACA positivity, after a primary fibrogenetic noxa, react with a more abundant release of MMP/TIMP, whereas patients with anti-Scl70 antibody show a normal response.