Molecular human reproduction

Matrix metalloproteinase-27 is expressed in CD163+/CD206+ M2 macrophages in the cycling human endometrium and in superficial endometriotic lesions.

PMID 24810263


Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are key enzymes involved in extracellular matrix remodelling. In the human endometrium, the expression and activity of several MMPs are maximal during the menstrual phase. Moreover, MMPs are thought to be involved in the pathogenesis of endometriosis and cancers, in particular with invasion and metastasis. We recently reported that MMP-27 is a unique MMP with an intracellular retention motif. We investigated the expression and cellular localization of MMP-27 in the cycling human endometrium and in endometriotic lesions. MMP-27 mRNA was detected throughout the menstrual cycle. Despite large interpatient variations, mRNA levels increased from the proliferative to the secretory phase, to peak during the menstrual phase. MMP-27 was immunolocalized in large isolated cells scattered throughout the stroma and around blood vessels: these cells were most abundant at menstruation and were identified by immunofluorescence as CD45(+), CD163(+) and CD206(+) macrophages. CD163(+) macrophages were also abundant in endometriotic lesions, but showed different patterns in ovarian or peritoneal endometriotic lesions (co-labelling for CD206 and MMP-27) and rectovaginal lesions (no co-labelling). In conclusion, MMP-27 is expressed in a subset of endometrial macrophages related to menstruation and in ovarian and peritoneal endometriotic lesions.