The data reported in literature revealed a novel function for matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) as modulators of adipogenesis. However, their expression profile and role in the cellular microenvironment during obesity-mediated adipose tissue development remain poorly defined. The authors hypothesized that MMP-2 and MMP-9 levels might be abnormal in obesity, reflecting alterations in extracellular matrix (ECM) turnover. One hundred and sixty three obese patients and 165 controls were enrolled. The following were measured: body mass index (BMI), waist circumference (WC), fasting plasma glucose (FPG), fasting plasma insulin (FPI), homeostasis model assessment (HOMA) index, systolic blood pressure (SBP), diastolic blood pressure (DBP), total cholesterol (TC), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), triglycerides (Tg), lipoprotein(a) (Lp(a)), and plasma levels of MMP-2 and MMP-9. A significant increase of BMI and WC (p< .0001) was observed in obese patients. No FPG change was present in obese group, whereas FPI and HOMA index increases (p< .0001) were obtained in obese patients compared to control subjects. No SBP and DBP variations were observed in obese group. Significant TC and LDL-C increases (p< .0001) were present in obese patients, whereas no HDL-C, Tg, and Lp(a) changes were obtained in both groups. MMP-2 and MMP-9 levels were significantly higher in obese group (p< .0001). Plasma levels of MMP-2 and MMP-9 are increased in obese patients which may reflect abnormal ECM metabolism.