Matrix metalloproteinases and tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinases in sera and tissue of patients with Dupuytren's disease

Dietmar Ulrich, Klaus Hrynyschyn, Norbert Pallua
Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery 2003, 112 (5): 1279-86
Dupuytren's contracture is a fibroproliferative disorder characterized by progressive deposition of mature collagen fibers. In other fibrotic diseases affecting organs such as the liver, lung, heart, and skin, matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) and their natural inhibitors, the tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinases (TIMPs), play an important role. In this study, serum concentrations of MMP-1, MMP-2, MMP-9, TIMP-1, and TIMP-2 were determined in 22 patients (five women and 17 men; average age, 67 +/- 11 years) with Dupuytren's disease using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Tissue samples were obtained for standard histological and immunohistochemical analyses. Sera and samples of palmar fascia from 20 patients (13 women and seven men; average age, 60 +/- 15 years) who had undergone hand surgery for carpal tunnel syndrome were used as the control group. Statistical analysis was performed using the Mann-Whitney test. Patients with Dupuytren's contracture presented with a TIMP-1 concentration of 437 +/- 160 ng/ml, a significantly higher TIMP-1 concentration than that seen in the control patients, who had a concentration of 321 +/- 70 ng/ml (p < 0.05). Patients with a proliferative active disease (n = 14) had a significantly higher TIMP-1 concentration (525 +/- 136 ng/ml) than patients (n = 8) with a contracture in the late involutional and residual phase (286 +/- 41 ng/ml; p < 0.05). There were no significant differences in the TIMP-2, MMP-1, MMP-2, and MMP-9 serum concentrations between patients with palmar fibromatosis and the control group. Patients with Dupuytren's disease had a significantly lower MMP-to-TIMP ratio (1.1 +/- 0.3; p < 0.05) than the control group (1.5 +/- 0.35). Patients with an active palmar fibromatosis presented a significantly (p < 0.05) reduced ratio (1 +/- 0.2) compared with those in later phases (1.4 +/- 0.3). TIMP-1 and TIMP-2 could be detected in tissue of patients with Dupuytren's contracture, with an accumulation in proliferative areas. MMPs could be detected locally in Dupuytren's tissue in a few patients, with less positive staining than for TIMPs. In the control group, there was just little or no staining for TIMPs and MMPs. The data indicate that the physiological balance between MMPs and their natural inhibitors is disturbed in patients with a proliferative active Dupuytren's disease. The decrease in the systemic MMP-to-TIMP ratio can cause increased synthesis and deposition of collagen, leading to palmar fibromatosis.

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