Immunohistochemical expression of matrix metalloprotease-2 and matrix metalloprotease-9 in the disks of patients with temporomandibular joint dysfunction

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Matrix metalloproteases (MMPs) are tissue-remodeling enzymes that function during the remodeling process, such as in immune-inflammatory diseases. Metalloprotease-2 (MMP-2) and metalloprotease-9 (MMP-9) are gelatinases that degrade several types of extracellular matrix collagen. It is hypothesized that in temporomandibular joint (TMJ) dysfunction, MMP-2 and MMP-9 expression levels may be elevated. Therefore, the objective of this study is to determine the association of MMP-2 and MMP-9 expression with temporomandibular joint dysfunction using an immunohistochemical approach to evaluate the joint disk.


A total of 45 human temporomandibular joint samples were collected, with 36 samples in the test group (patients with anterior disk displacement with reduction (n = 29) and without reduction (n = 7)) and nine samples in the control group. The immunostaining of the TMJ disks was statistically compared between the groups (P < 0.05).


There was a statistically significant difference for the area of MMP-2 immunostaining between the control group and the displacement disks with reduction group (ADDwR) (P = 0.048) and between the groups with disk displacement and without reduction (ADDwoR) (P = 0.029). The expression of MMP-2 was significantly elevated in the ADDwoR group.


No statistically significant difference was found between the variable area of MMP-9 expression in the disk with and without disk displacement, as determined by immunohistochemical analysis. However, there was an elevation of MMP-2 expression in the disks of patients with displacement and without reduction (more severe alteration).

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