Markers of collagen synthesis and degradation in urogenital tissue and serum from women with and without uterovaginal prolapse

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Diverging results have been published concerning collagen metabolism in uterovaginal prolapse (UP). We have investigated collagen turnover in urogenital tissue in urologically healthy women with (UP patients) and without UP or any history of UP (controls). Markers of collagen turnover, carboxy-terminal propeptide of type I procollagen (PICP), amino-terminal propeptide of procollagen III (PIIINP) and carboxy-terminal telopeptide of type I collagen (ICTP) were assayed in urogenital tissue homogenates and serum. Tissue and serum concentrations of collagen turnover markers were related to UP and to menopausal/estrogen status. UP patients were significantly older than the controls. UP patients had significantly higher tissue PICP and PIIINP and significantly lower tissue ICTP levels than the controls, but the difference in ICTP disappeared after matching for menopausal/estrogen status and age. There were no associations between tissue collagen turnover markers on the one hand and menopausal/estrogen status or age on the other. The higher tissue concentrations of PICP and especially PIIINP in tissue from women with UP compared to controls, suggest an increased collagen breakdown in UP. This pattern differs from that in stress urinary incontinent women without UP, where tissue levels of collagen turnover markers are low, indicating reduced collagen breakdown.

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