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Endokrynol Pol. 2012;63(6):470-6.

Is determination of matrix metalloproteinases and their tissue inhibitors serum concentrations useful in patients with gastroenteropancreatic and bronchopulmonary neuroendocrine neoplasms?

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Division of Endocrinology, Department of Pathophysiology and Endocrinology, Silesian Medical University in Katowice, 40–952 Katowice, Poland.



Gastroenteropancreatic (GEP) and bronchopulmonary (BP) neurendocrine neoplasms (NENs) are rare and slowly growing tumours. Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) degrade extracellular matrix and are responsible for invasion and metastasis. Tissue inhibitors of matrix metalloproteinases (TIMPs) affect the invasiveness of tumour cells and the formation of distant metastases. The aim of this study was to evaluate selected MMPs (MMP2 and MMP9) and their tissue inhibitors (TIMP1 and TIMP2) depending on the pTNM classification, grading, and the occurrence of metastases.


The study group consisted of 86 patients with GEP NENs. The control group consisted of 31 healthy volunteers. Serum levels of TIMP1, TIMP2, MMP2 and MMP9 were determined by ELISA (R&D Systems) in all the study subjects. The statistical calculations were performed using MedCalc.


We observed significant differences in MMP2 and TIMP1 levels between the study group with NENs and the control group. TIMP1 levels were significantly higher in patients with high-grade NEN (NEC, neuroendocrine carcinoma) compared to patients with low-grade tumour (NET G1, neuroendocrine tumours G1) (p 〈 0.017). We also observed a significant correlation between TIMP1 levels and the presence of metastases in the group of patients with GEP NENs, and also higher TIMP1 levels than those in the patients without metastases (p 〈 0.05). We also found a higher likelihood of metastases in patients with GEP NENs with TIMP1 levels exceeding 206.4 ng/mL.


Patients with NENs secreted larger quantities of MMP2 and TIMP1. TIMP1 may be considered a marker of metastases in patients with GEP NENs.

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