Background: The matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) system is a group of enzymes, function
to modulate the tissue structure and degrade the extracellular matrix (ECM), a process required
in cellular repair, proliferation, apoptosis, and angiogenesis. The role of MMPs in endometriosis
pathophysiology has been examined, and it is hypothesized that mis-expression of MMPs in endometrial
cells or surrounding tissues is a key factor in promoting the attachment, invasion, and angiogenesis
required for establishment of ectopic lesions.
Objective: The objective of this review is to update the current state of knowledge on the role of
MMPs in the pathophysiology of endometriosis and discuss the potential utility of treatments that
may directly or indirectly target their action in endometriosis.
Results: In this review we summarize the current state of knowledge on the MMPs and the pathogenesis
of endometriosis, discuss the role of the MMPs in endometriosis pathophysiology, summarize
current treatments for endometriosis and discuss potential utility of inhibition of MMP action in
Conclusion: Based upon the current state of knowledge, therapeutic approaches targeting MMPs
may be useful in mitigating the proliferation and the establishment of the lesions but further patientbased
studies are clearly needed.