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05-08-2010 | Dermatology | Article

High matrix metalloproteinase levels may trigger granulomatous rosacea


Free abstract

MedWire News: High levels of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are present in granulomatous compared with normal rosacea (NR) lesions, report researchers.

They say that the increased expression of MMPs seen in the skin of these lesions may actively participate in granulomatous rosacea (GR) lesion formation along with exposure to ultraviolet radiation (UVR).

To investigate the pathogenesis of GR, Eun-So Lee (Ajou University School of Medicine, Suwon, Korea) and co-workers took facial skin samples from 20 patients with GR and 20 with NR (controls).

The researchers measured levels of transforming growth factor (TGF)-β, TGF-β type II receptor (TβRII), Tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-α, and MMP-1, 2 and 9 in both sets of samples.

They found that in comparison with the control samples, those taken from GR lesions had significantly higher levels of MMP-9 (mean staining density 0.63 vs 1.71) and lower levels of TGF-β (mean staining density 0.39 vs 0.16).

MMP-2 expression was also higher in GR compared with NR lesions, but the difference was not statistically significant.

Evidence of solar elastosis was greater in GR as opposed to NR skin samples, suggesting that "accumulated UV exposure is more closely associated with the development of GR than NR."

The team concludes: "Future studies designed to determine the mechanisms that control MMP production and activation will lend insight into the process of granuloma formation and control of this pathological response, thus leading to better ways of preventing and possibly treating GR."

The results of this study are published in the Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology.

MedWire ( is an independent clinical news service provided by Current Medicine Group, a trading division of Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2010

By Helen Albert