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Dig Dis Sci. 2006 Oct;51(10):1862-8.

Increased protein expression of matrix metalloproteinases -1, -3, and -9 and TIMP-1 in patients with gluten-sensitive enteropathy.

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Department of Immunology, St. James's Hospital, Trinity College and Dublin Molecular Medicine Center, Dublin, Ireland.


Gluten-sensitive enteropathy is characterized by small intestinal damage. The pathogenic mechanisms involved are not precisely understood. There is recent interest in the possibility that matrix metalloproteinases might play a pathogenic role. Using immunohistochemistry technique, we examined the protein expression of matrix metalloproteinases-1, -3, and -9 and the tissue inhibitor metalloproteinase-1 in duodenal biopsies from 30 patients with celiac disease and dermatitis herpetiformis. We demonstrated that the percentage of cells expressing these enzymes and their inhibitor in all patients was significantly greater than in the normal controls (P < 0.0001). This was evident even in patients with a minimal lesion but was most marked in patients with severe damage, mirroring the degree of inflammation in the small intestinal tissue. The increased expression of these enzymes and their inhibitor in the duodenal mucosa of patients with gluten-sensitive enteropathy suggests a role for these enzymes in the tissue remodeling which is a feature of these disorders.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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