Fibroblasts From the Transversalis Fascia of Young Patients With Direct Inguinal Hernias Show Constitutive MMP-2 Overexpression

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Abstract

Objective

To determine the expression pattern of certain metalloproteinases (MMPs) known to be involved in the degradation of the extracellular matrix in cultured fibroblasts from the transversalis fascia (TF) of patients with inguinal hernia.

Summary Background Data

Inguinal hernia is a common pathology, the cause of which remains unknown. It is, however, clear that the TF is one of the anatomical structures that may impede the formation of hernias, and particularly the direct type of hernia. In previous studies the authors found enhanced MMP-2 expression in TF specimens in vivo. The persistence of increased expression in cultured fibroblasts might support the idea of a genetic defect as the cause for this pathology.

Methods

Fibroblasts from the TF of patients with direct and indirect inguinal hernia were cultured and compared with those obtained from control TF in terms of MMP (MMP-2 and MMP-9) expression.

Results

Significant active MMP-2 expression was shown by TF fibroblasts from young patients with direct hernias. These findings were confirmed by immunosorbent assay, immunoblotting, and zymography of the fibroblast culture media. No MMP-9 expression was detected.

Conclusion

These results indicate that MMP-2 may be involved in the TF matrix degradative process in patients with direct hernia. The persistence of changes in MMP-2 levels in the cell cultures appears to suggest a genetic defect or irreversible change as the origin of this pathology rather than environmental factors, which may later participate in the development of the hernial process.

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