Endometriosis Linked to Tissue Remodeling Enzymes and Wound Healing

Endometriosis Linked to Tissue Remodeling Enzymes and Wound Healing

An team of researchers in China released study data in which they investigated the correlation between the serum and ascite levels of matrix metalloproteinase 9 (MMP-9), an important enzyme involved in tissue remodeling and wound healing in patients with endometriosis.

The study, “Correlation between matrix metalloproteinase-9 and endometriosis,” was published in the International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Pathology.

To investigate the correlation between serum and ascite levels of MMP-9 in endometriosis (EMS) patients, researchers recruited 100 EMS patients between January 2014 and January 2015.

These were the eligibility requirements for the study’s subjects:

  • They had to have regular menstrual cycles;
  • Subjects could not have been treated with hormonal therapies within three months of recruitment;
  • Patients could not have other benign or malignant lesions in their ovaries or uterus;
  • Patients could not have any severe liver or kidney dysfunction or autoimmune disease.

Subjects were ineligible for the study if they had:

  • A history of irregular menstrual cycles;
  • A positive pregnancy test or plan to become pregnant within the study timeline;
  • A hyperplasia of the endometrium or inflammatory lesion of the uterus or cervix, or other complicated gynecologic diseases;
  • A long-term history of taking hormonal medicines;
  • Any malignant diseases in their ovary, oviduct or uterus.

After enrollment, the recruited patients then underwent laparoscopic surgery to confirm the diagnosis. Pre- and post-procedure fluid samples were collected as well as endometrial tissue samples. The samples underwent laboratory analysis using experimental procedures such as the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and gelatin zymography analysis to determine the contents of MMP-9.

The findings showed that after controlling for variables such as EMS patient age, endometrium site, lesion range, clinical stage and proliferative cycles, a significant correlation between MMP-9 and endometrium site, clinical stage, and proliferative cycle was present — whereas age and lesion range had no correlation with MMP-9.

“Elevated MMP-9 level may be related to the ectopic implantation of endometrium and plays a critical role in EMS progression. Therefore, the timely detection of MMP-9 level and possible interference measures may provide novel target for EMS treatment in clinics,” the authors wrote.

More studies need to be done to understand the role MMP-9 plays in EMS pathology, possibly leading to a therapeutic intervention targeting these important enzymes.