Expression of matrix metalloproteinase-1 in uterosacral ligaments tissue of women with genital prolapse.
ABSTRACT Collagen metabolism is altered in the pelvic organ tissues of women with genital prolapse. The aim of this study was to compare collagen metabolism by measuring matrix metalloproteinase-1 (MMP-1) expression in uterosacral ligament tissues of postmenopausal women with and without genital prolapse. Uterosacral ligament tissues were obtained at the time of abdominal or vaginal surgery from twenty-four patients with pelvic organ prolapse (POP) and 21 women who underwent gynecologic surgery for benign indications. The tissue samples were analyzed by immunohistochemistry. There were no differences in age, BMI and parity between two groups. The patients with genital prolapse demonstrated significantly higher occurences of MMP-1 expression compared to controls. These findings indicate that increased MMP-1 expression in uterosacral ligaments is associated with genital prolapse. Our data are consistent with the theory that increased collagen breakdown may play an important role in the onset and development of pelvic organ prolapse (POP).