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Role of matrix metalloproteinases in chronic rhinosinusitis

Kostamo, Katriina; Toskala, Elina; Tervahartiala, Taina; Sorsa, Timo

Current Opinion in Allergy and Clinical Immunology: February 2008 - Volume 8 - Issue 1 - p 21–27
doi: 10.1097/ACI.0b013e3282f3f461
Upper airway disease: Edited by Ruby Pawankar and David P. Skoner

Purpose of review In this review, we discuss the role of matrix metalloproteinases and the potential therapeutic inhibition of metalloproteinases in chronic rhinosinusitis. Metalloproteinases control tissue remodelling along with several other physiologic processes. Failures may cause extracellular matrix deposition and sustained inflammation, which are common features in chronic rhinosinusitis.

Recent findings Metalloproteinases are rarely studied in chronic rhinosinusitis. Upregulation of certain metalloproteinases (gelatinases, collagenases and matrilysin) is described in the literature. The results are partly controversial, suggesting that metalloproteinases are implicated in the destructive processes in the disease pathogenesis, but also demonstrate that they may exert an anti-inflammatory function in chronic rhinosinusitis. The imbalance between metalloproteinases and the tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases is proposed to be crucial in the extracellular matrix deposition in asthma, and it may also lead to pathologic tissue remodelling in chronic rhinosinusitis.

Summary Metalloproteinases are implicated in the chronic respiratory-tract diseases, but little is known about their detailed functions in disease pathogenesis. Metalloproteinases may serve as tools in evaluating prognosis and provide a target for novel therapies, highlighting the need for better understanding of metalloproteinase functions in chronic rhinosinusitis.

aDepartment of Otorhinolaryngology, Kymenlaakso Central Hospital, Kotka, Finland

bDepartment of Occupational Medicine, Section of Otorhinolaryngology, Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Helsinki, Finland

cInstitute of Dentistry, University of Helsinki, and Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Diseases, Helsinki University Central Hospital, Helsinki, Finland

Correspondence to Katriina Kostamo, Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Kymenlaakso Central Hospital, Kotkantie 41, FIN-48210 Kotka, Finland Tel: +358 44 2231729; fax: +358 5 2205245; e-mail:

Disclosure: No conflict of interest exists.

Copyright © 2008 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.