Objective: In view of evidence that stromelysin-1 and collagenase-1 are involved in tissue injury in inflammatory joint diseases, we sought to determine whether matrix metalloproteinases (MMP) are implicated in the pathophysiology of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).
Methods: Seventy-three patients with SLE and 39 healthy subjects were evaluated. Serum levels of MMP and tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases were measured.
Results: Serum stromelysin-1 levels were significantly increased in patients with SLE (416+/-252 ng/ml) compared to healthy subjects (125+/-93 ng/ml). No correlation between serial measurements of stromelysin-1 and disease activity in SLE patients was noted. Serum collagenase-1, gelatinase A, and TIMP-1 levels were not increased in SLE.
Conclusion: Serum concentrations of stromelysin-1 are increased in SLE, but the levels do not correlate with disease activity.