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Adv Exp Med Biol. 2000;477:483-6.

Matrix metalloproteinases and TACE play a role in the pathogenesis of endometriosis.

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Institute of Immunology, Otto-von-Guericke-University, Magdeburg, Germany.


Endometriosis, a benign gynecologic disorder, occurs in about 10% of women in reproductive age and in up to 50% of women with infertility. The basic etiologic factors causing this disease are unknown as yet. Matrix metalloproteinases (MMP) are involved in degradation of the extracellular matrix (ECM). Their proteolytic activity is regulated by tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinases (TIMPs). Tumor necrosis factor-alpha converting enzyme (TACE) is a membrane-bound disintegrin metalloproteinase that processes the membrane-associated cytokine proTNF-alpha to its mature soluble form. TNF-alpha induces the secretion of several MMPs. In order to study the expression of MMP-1, -2, -3 and -9, TIMP-1 and -2, TACE and TNF-alpha in endometrium and endometriotic tissue, we investigated formalin-fixed paraffin sections of endometriotic tissues and normal endometrium with immunohistochemical techniques and in situ hybridisation. Furthermore, quantitative PCR was used for quantification of TACE-mRNA in fresh tissue. We found in this study significant higher protein expression of MMP-1 and TACE and significant lower protein expression of TMP-1 and -2 in endometriotic tissue compared to endometrium. This data may suggest that high TACE expression causes the increased conversion of membrane-bound proTNF-alpha into its soluble form, which stimulates the increased secretion of MMP-1. The simultaneous deficiency of TIMP-1 and -2 in endometriotic tissue suppose an additional proteinase inhibitor imbalance in endometriosis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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