Increased expression of stromelysin 3 mRNA in leiomyomas (uterine fibroids) compared with myometrium

Stephen S. Palmer, Donna Haynes-Johnson, Thekla Diehl, Romana A. Nowak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVE: To determine the level of expression of selected matrix metalloproteinases in uterine leiomyoma compared with unaffected myometrium in an effort to explain the abnormal accumulation of extracellular matrix in the leiomyoma. METHODS: The levels of matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) mRNA in leiomyoma and myometrium were measured in samples from 22 patients during either proliferative (n = 6) or secretory phases (n = 16) of the menstrual cycle. Relative amounts of collagenase (MMP-1) and stromelysin (MMP-3) mRNAs were measured by Northern blot analysis, and amounts of stromelysin 3 (MMP- 11) and matrilysin (MMP-7) mRNA from each sample were determined by semiquantitative reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and normalized to β-actin mRNA. RESULTS: The levels of MMP-1 and MMP-3 mRNAs were similar in both leiomyoma and unaffected myometrium. The levels of MMP- 11 mRNA were twofold greater in leiomyoma compared with myometrium throughout the menstrual cycle, and the differences in the levels of MMP-11 were significantly different during the secretory phase. The level of MMP-7 mRNA expression was similar in leiomyoma, myometrium, and endometrium. CONCLUSIONS: Among the metalloproteinases examined in this study, only the levels of MMP-11 mRNA were elevated in leiomyoma compared with myometrium. The increased expression of MMP-11 in uterine leiomyoma compared with myometrium is analagous to previously reported elevations of MMP-11 mRNA in dermatofibromas compared with unaffected skin. The increased expression of MMP-11 mRNA in fibroid tumors suggests that this MMP may be involved in the formation of a more fibrous extracellular matrix in leiomyoma relative to unaffected myometrium.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)203-209
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the Society for Gynecologic Investigation
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Leiomyoma
  • Metalloproteinase
  • Myometrium
  • Stromelysin 3
  • Uterus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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