Differential expression of stromal MMP-1, MMP-9 and TIMP-1 in basal cell carcinomas of immunosuppressed patients and controls

Virchows Arch. 2008 Jan;452(1):83-90. doi: 10.1007/s00428-007-0526-0. Epub 2007 Nov 22.


Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) have an important role in the initiation, growth, and invasion of malignant tumors. Basal cell cancer (BCC) is the most common human malignancy. The risk of BCC is 10-16 times higher among organ transplant recipients compared with the nontransplanted population. The aim of this study was to compare the expression of several MMPs and their tissue inhibitors (TIMPs) in BCCs from kidney transplant recipients and controls. Expression of MMPs-1, -7, -8, -9, -10, -13, -26, and TIMPs-1 and -3 was evaluated by immunohistochemistry in 25 samples of BCC of kidney transplant recipients and 25 matched controls representing superficial and nodular subtypes. No significant differences were detected in MMP expression of BCC tumor cells between immunocompetent and immunodeficient patients. However, MMPs-1 and -9 and TIMP-1 were expressed more frequently in stromal macrophages in the BCCs of immunocompetent patients. When tumor subtypes were compared irrespective of the patient group, more MMP-1-positive fibroblasts and MMP-9-positive neutrophils were detected in the superficial subtype, while stromal MMP-10 expression was more abundant in nodular tumors. Our results suggest that abundant peritumoral expression of TIMP-1 in non-immunocompromised patients limits ECM degradation permissive for cancer cell migration.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / metabolism
  • Carcinoma, Basal Cell / etiology
  • Carcinoma, Basal Cell / metabolism*
  • Carcinoma, Basal Cell / pathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunocompromised Host*
  • Immunosuppression / adverse effects
  • Kidney Transplantation / adverse effects
  • Kidney Transplantation / immunology
  • Male
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 1 / metabolism*
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 9 / metabolism*
  • Middle Aged
  • Skin Neoplasms / etiology
  • Skin Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Skin Neoplasms / pathology
  • Stromal Cells / metabolism
  • Stromal Cells / pathology
  • Tissue Inhibitor of Metalloproteinase-1 / metabolism*


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Tissue Inhibitor of Metalloproteinase-1
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 9
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 1