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Eur Respir J. 2005 Mar;25(3):494-501.

Matrix metalloproteinase-9 in bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome after lung transplantation.

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Dept of Internal Medicine, University Hospital Schleswig-Holstein, Campus Kiel, Schittenhelmstr.12, 24105 Kiel, Germany.


Bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome (BOS) is a severe complication after lung transplantation (LTX). In a retrospective cohort study 12 stable healthy recipients (non-BOS) and eight patients with BOS were enrolled after LTX and matrix metalloproteinases (MMP)-9, TIMP-1 and cell characteristics in bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) samples (n = 145) were analysed. BALs from patients with BOS were further divided according to whether they were obtained before (pre-BOS) or after manifestation of BOS (BOS group). The MMP-9/TIMP-1 ratio was significantly increased in the BOS group compared with non-BOS or pre-BOS; furthermore, the ratio was negatively correlated with forced expiratory volume in one second. In zymography, the active form of MMP-9 was detected predominantly in the BOS group. In addition, zymography showed the banding pattern of neutrophil-derived MMP-9, indicating that polymorphonuclear neutrophils (PMNs) were the main source of MMP-9. According to that, MMP-9 was significantly correlated with the number of PMN. In immunocytochemistry, MMP-9 was also associated predominantly with PMN. This is the first study to evaluate the expression of matrix metalloproteinase-9 and tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinases-1 over time during manifestation of a fibroproliferative lung disease in patients. It demonstrates development of bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome after lung transplantation is associated with an imbalance of matrix metalloproteinases-9/tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinase-1 ratio.

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