Changes and clinical significance of serum MMP-9, TIMP-1, COX-2, and immune levels in patients with asthma

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Hong Ming
Youming Huang
Jinjuan Mao
Hui Wang
Xiufeng Gao
Zhidian Li


asthma patients, cyclooxygenase-2, immune function metalloproteinase-9, metalloproteinase inhibitors


Objective: To detect serum metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9), tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases (TIMP-1), cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), and T helper cells 1–T helper cells 2 (Th1–Th2) levels in asthma patients and assess their clinical significance.

Methods: A total of 72 patients experiencing acute asthma (acute group), 66 stable asthma patients (stable group), and 60 healthy volunteers (control group) were included in this study. The levels of TIMP-1, COX-2, and Th1–Th2 in patients with acute asthma were measured following treatment with budesonide aerosol inhalation. In addition, the levels of MMP-9, TIMP-1, COX-2 and Th1–Th2 were compared in patients with different severity of acute asthma before and after treatment.

Results: The serum levels of MMP-9, TIMP-1, and COX-2 showed an increasing trend in the control, stable, and acute groups, while levels of Th1–Th2 showed a sequential decreasing trend, and the differences were statistically significant. Comparison of lung function indexes among the three groups of patients established a negative correlation between serum MMP-9 and its forced vital capacity% predicted (FEV%pred), TIMP-1, and COX-2, and FEV%pred and forced expiratory volume in 1 s–forced vital capacity (FEV1/FVC) levels, but a positive correlation between Th1–Th2 and FEV1/FVC levels in the acute group. A significant difference was observed on comparing the levels of serum MMP-9, TIMP-1, COX-2, and Th1–Th2 in patients with different conditions in the acute group. Specifically, as the condition worsened, a significant increase in serum MMP-9, TIMP-1, and COX-2 levels but a significant decrease in Th1–Th2 levels was observed. After treatment, we observed a significant decrease in serum MMP-9, TIMP-1, and COX-2 levels but a significant increase in Th1–Th2 levels in the acute group.

Conclusion: The serum levels of MMP-9, TIMP-1, COX-2, and Th1–Th2 are valuable indicators reflecting the condition of asthma patients and could be considered promising clinical monitoring indicators.

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