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Gut. 2000 Jul;47(1):63-73.

Differential expression of matrix metalloproteinases and their tissue inhibitors in colon mucosa of patients with inflammatory bowel disease.

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Medizinische Klinik I (Gastroenterologie und Infektiologie), Klinikum Benjamin Franklin, FU Berlin, Hindenburgdamm 30, 12200 Berlin, FRG.



Alterations in synthesis and breakdown of extracellular matrix components are known to play a crucial role in tissue remodelling during inflammation and wound healing. Degradation of collagens is highly regulated by a cascade of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs). The current study was therefore designed to determine gene expression patterns of MMPs and their tissue inhibitors (TIMPs) in single endoscopic biopsies of patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).


mRNA expression was measured by quantitative competitive polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in biopsies from patients with ulcerative colitis (n=21) and Crohn's disease (n=21). Protein expression was analysed by western blotting and immunohistochemistry.


MMP-2, MMP-14, and TIMP-1 mRNAs were marginally increased in inflamed, but 9-12-fold increased in ulcerated colonic mucosa in IBD whereas TIMP-2 mRNA expression remained unchanged. MMP-1 and MMP-3 mRNA expression correlated well with the histological degree of acute inflammation, resulting in more than 15-fold increased MMP-1 and MMP-3 mRNA levels in inflamed versus normal colon samples from patients with ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease.


Profound overexpression of MMP-1 and MMP-3 mRNA transcripts suggests an important role for these enzymes in the process of tissue remodelling and destruction in inflammatory bowel disease.

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