Is metalloproteinase-7 specific for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis?

Chest. 2008 May;133(5):1101-6. doi: 10.1378/chest.07-2116. Epub 2007 Dec 10.


Background: Matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-7 was reported to be a key molecule in the pathogenesis of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) based on the result of microarray analysis and knockout mice. However, the role of MMP-7 has not been determined in other types of idiopathic interstitial pneumonia (IIP). The aim of this study was to investigate the role of MMP-7 in IIP by comparing its expression in usual interstitial pneumonia (UIP) and cryptogenic organizing pneumonia (COP).

Methods: Levels of MMP and tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinase in BAL fluid and their expression on lung tissues were compared between normal control subjects (n = 5) and the patients with IPF (n = 6) and COP (n = 11).

Results: There was no significant difference in BAL fluid MMP-7 levels between UIP and COP, although it was higher in both diseases compared to normal control subjects. Furthermore, the pattern and the degree of MMP-7 expression in lung tissues were also similar in both IPF and COP, whereas MMP-2 level was higher in COP and MMP-9 level was higher in IPF.

Conclusion: MMP-7 seems to play an important role in the pathogenesis of not only IPF but also COP; therefore, it may not be the key factor determining the prognosis or reversibility of IIPs.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Biomarkers / metabolism
  • Biopsy
  • Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid / chemistry
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Lung / enzymology
  • Lung / pathology
  • Lung Diseases, Interstitial / enzymology
  • Lung Diseases, Interstitial / pathology
  • Male
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 7 / biosynthesis*
  • Middle Aged
  • Prognosis
  • Pulmonary Fibrosis / enzymology*
  • Pulmonary Fibrosis / pathology
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Tissue Inhibitor of Metalloproteinases / metabolism


  • Biomarkers
  • Tissue Inhibitor of Metalloproteinases
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 7