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Expression of matrix metalloproiteinases (MMPs) and tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinases (TIMPs) in hepatocellular carcinoma tissue, compared with the surrounding non-tumor tissue.

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Second Department of Internal Medicine, Tottori University School of Medicine, Yonago 683-8504, Japan.


Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) have been implicated in the tumor invasion and growth through the degradation of extracellular matrix. In this study, we selected 46 hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cases, at random, and we immunohistologically examined the expression of MMP-1, MMP-2, MMP-3, MMP-7, MMP-9, tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases (TIMP)-1, TIMP-2, in cancerous and non-cancerous areas using avidin-biotin-peroxidase complex method. In all cases, cancer cells, hepatocytes, sinusoidal lining cells, leukocytes, and bile ducts were positive for all the primary antibodies. The expressions of MMPs and TIMPs in most of the HCC tissues were equal or low compared with those in the surrounding non-tumor tissues, although mixed expression pattern were recognized in some HCC tissues. The difference of MMP and TIMP expression was not related with the histological differentiation of HCC and the condition of non-cancerous area. These findings suggested little association of the clinicopathological findings of HCC with the histological expression of MMPs and TIMPs.

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