Collagenolytic enzymes (gelatinases) and their inhibitors in human amniochorionic membrane

S. J. Fortunato, R. Menon, S. J. Lombardi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

108 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: This study was designed to investigate the presence of matrix metalloproteinase-2 (gelatinase A), matrix metalloproteinase-9 (gelatinase B), and their natural inhibitors in both cultured amniochorionic membrane and membrane obtained from women with infection-associated preterm labor. STUDY DESIGN: Amniochorionic membranes were collected from women with documented intraamniotic infection and from women not in labor undergoing elective repeat cesarean section with no signs of infection or other complications of pregnancy. Normal membranes were cultured and exposed to endotoxin and peptidoglycan polysaccharide. Messenger ribonucleic acid expression for gelatinase A, gelatinase B, and tissue inhibitors of matrix metalloproteinase types 1 and 2 was studied with use of reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction and localization of messenger ribonucleic acid was accomplished with use of in situ hybridization. Release of gelatinases from the membranes was studied with gelatin zymography. Tissue inhibitors of matrix metalloproteinase peptides were localized with use of immunocytochemistry. RESULTS: The expression of matrix metalloproteinase types 2 and 9 was seen in amniochorionic membranes in culture. Matrix metalloproteinase-2 was seen in membranes from nonlaboring women and in women with intraamniotic infection, whereas matrix metalloproteinase-9 was seen only in membranes from women with intraamniotic infection. The matrix metalloproteinase-9 expression could also be induced by lipopolysaccharide or peptidoglycan polysaccharide stimulation in culture. In situ hybridization localized messenger ribonucleic acid for these matrix metalloproteinases to both amnion and chorion. Zymogram studies showed the activity of matrix metalloproteinase-2 in normal resting membrane and cultured membrane. Matrix metalloproteinase-9 was induced by culture conditions. Tissue inhibitor of matrix metalloproteinase-1 and tissue inhibitor of matrix metalloproteinase-2 messenger ribonucleic acid was seen in normal, infected, and cultured membranes. In situ hybridization data indicated that these messages were mainly produced by chorion, but they were also seen in amnion. Immunohistochemistry demonstrated the presence of tissue inhibitor of matrix metalloproteinase-1 and tissue inhibitor of matrix metalloproteinase-2 peptides in both amnion and chorion and in cells of the reticular layer of the matrix. CONCLUSION: Normal amniochorionic membrane s a source of matrix metalloproteinase-2 and tissue inhibitors of matrix metalloproteinases. Culture conditions and infection induce matrix metalloproteinase-9 expression and release from amniochorion. These findings suggest that these collagenolytic enzymes may play a role in premature rupture of the membranes in infection, which can lead to preterm labor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)731-741
Number of pages11
JournalAmerican journal of obstetrics and gynecology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes


  • Amniochorion
  • Gelatinase A
  • Gelatinase B
  • Matrix metalloproteinase
  • Premature rupture of membranes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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