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Scand J Gastroenterol. 2006 Sep;41(9):1050-5.

Collagenase-3 (MMP-13) expression by inflamed mucosa in inflammatory bowel disease.

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Instituto Universitario de Oncología del Principado de Asturias, Oviedo, Gijón-Spain.



To determine whether the expression of collagenase-3 (MMP-13) in biopsies from patients with inflammatory bowel disease is correlated with histological inflammation parameters.


Fifty-nine patients with inflammatory bowel disease were included in the study. The control group comprised 20 patients free of inflammatory disease and ten patients with acute diverticulitis. MMP-13 expression was determined by immunohistochemical staining and the specimens were assigned a histological inflammation score.


It was found that 62.8% of patients with ulcerative colitis (UC) and 54.1% of patients with Crohn's disease (CD) showed MMP-13-positive immunostaining in biopsies from affected areas. MMP-13-positive staining was more intense in ulcerated colonic mucosa. A positive and significant correlation was found between MMP-13 expression and the histological inflammation scores in mucosal samples from patients with CD (r = 0.74, p < 0.0001) or UC (r = 0.62, p < 0.0001). However, no MMP-13-positive immunostaining was found in either the biopsy specimens of the control group or those biopsies taken from patients with UC or CD in microscopically confirmed non-affected areas of the colonic mucosa. Similarly, colonic mucosa samples of the 10 patients with acute diverticulitis did not show immunostaining for MMP-13.


Our findings demonstrating the absence of MMP-13 expression in non-inflamed colonic mucosa or in acute diverticulitis, as well as a positive correlation between elevated MMP-13 expression and histological criteria of inflammation in patients with inflammatory bowel diseases (CD and UC) suggest a role of the protease in the pathogenesis of these latter processes.

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