Published online Oct 7, 2006. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v12.i37.6050
Revised: July 23, 2005
Accepted: August 20, 2005
Published online: October 7, 2006
AIM: To examine the expression of metalloproteinase-1 (MMP-1) and tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase-1 (TIMP-1) in the colonic mucosa of patients with ulcerative colitis (UC).
METHODS: Reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and immunohistochemistry were used to study the expression of MMP-1 and TIMP-1 at both mRNA and protein levels in patients with UC and controls. The relationship between MMP-1 mRNA, TIMP-1 mRNA, MMP-1 mRNA/TIMP-1 mRNA ratio and the severity of clinical symptoms of the patients with UC were also analyzed.
RESULTS: The expression of MMP-1 mRNA and TIMP-1 mRNA in the ulcerated and inflamed colonic mucosa was significantly higher than that in the non-inflamed colonic mucosa (P < 0.001), but there was no statistically significant difference in the non-inflamed colonic mucosa of UC patients and normal controls (P > 0.05). The mRNA expression of MMP-1 and TIMP-1 in ulcerated colonic mucosa of UC patients was increased by 80-fold and 2.2-fold, respectively when compared with the normal controls. In the inflamed colonic mucosa, the increase was 30-fold and 1.6-fold, respectively. Immunohistochemical analysis showed that among the ulcerated, inflamed, and non-inflamed colonic mucosae of UC patients and the normal controls, the positive rate of MMP-1 expression was 87%, 87%, 40% and 35% respectively, and the positive rate of TIMP-1 expression was 89%, 89%, 80% and 75%, respectively. Furthermore, the expression of MMP-1 mRNA, TIMP-1 mRNA and the MMP-1 mRNA/ TIMP-1 mRNA ratio were correlated with the severity of clinical symptoms (P <0.05).
CONCLUSION: Excessive expression of MMP-1 in the diseased colonic mucosa causes excessive hydrolysis of the extracellular matrix (ECM) and ulceration in UC patients. MMP-1 mRNA, TIMP-1 mRNA and MMP-1 mRNA/TIMP-1 mRNA ratio can be used as biomarkers to judge the severity of clinical symptoms in patients with UC. Exogenous TIMP-1 or MMP-1 inhibitor therapy is a novel treatment for patients with UC.