Cellular and Molecular Biology


Expression of matrix metalloproteinase-9 (gelatinase B) in benign, premalignant and malignant laryngeal lesions

D. Peschos1, C. Damala2, D. Stefanou2, E. Tsanou2, D. Assimakopoulos3, T. Vougiouklakis1, K. Charalabopoulos4 and N.J. Agnantis5

1Department of Forensic Medicine, 2Pathology-Cytology, 3Otolaryngology and 4Physiology, Medical School, University of Ioannina, Ioannina, Greece

Offprint requests to: Professor N.J. Agnantis MD. PhD. FRCPATH, Department of Pathology, Medical School, University of Ioannina, 45110 Ioannina, Greece. e-mail: dinadamala@yahoo.gr

Summary. The matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are a family of proteolytic zinc-containing enzymes, which are responsible for the breakdown of the extracellular matrix components in pathological and physiological conditions. They are involved in basement membrane disruption, stroma and blood vessel penetration, metastasis and more recently there is evidence that they participate in tumor growth and angiogenic events. Matrix metalloproteinase 2 and 9 (MMP 2 and 9) belong to the gelatinases, a subgroup of MMPs, and have the capacity to degrade the triple helix type IV collagen of basal lamina of the basement membrane. With the present study, we tried to demonstrate the expression of MMP-9 immunohistochemically, comparatively in benign, premalignant and malignant lesions of the larynx. We studied 154 laryngeal lesions including 55 squamous cell carcinomas, 8 in situ carcinomas, 54 cases of dysplasia (of low and intermediate grade), 13 papillomas and 24 cases of keratosis. Overexpression of MMP 9 was observed in 74.4% and 50% in invasive and in situ squamous cell carcinomas respectively. In dysplastic cases, in papillomas and in keratoses the percentage of overexpression was 62.9%, 61.53% and 54.16% respectively and the expression of MMP-9 was significantly higher in invasive squamous cell carcinomas compared to dysplasias (p=0.000004). Also significantly higher was the expression of MMP-9 in dysplastic cases compared to papillomas (p=0.023). The MMP-9 expression was related neither to survival nor to the other available clinicopathological parameters (tumor size, grade, clinical stage, lymph node status and patient age). In conclusion, our study indicates that the expression of MMP-9 is up-regulated in a stepwise fashion, with two main steps, the first one, when a dysplastic lesion evolves and the next one, when the dysplasia progresses to invasive carcinoma. Histol Histopathol 21, 603-608 (2006)

Key words: Matrix metalloproteinase 9, Laryngeal cancer, Laryngeal lesions

DOI: 10.14670/HH-21.603