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Mediators of Inflammation
Volume 2006, Article ID 24827, 6 pages
Research Communication

Unexpected Smoking-Linked High MMP-9 in Induced Sputum of Hazardous Dust-Exposed Workers

1Occupational and Environmental Health Center, Clalit Health Services, Tel-Aviv, Israel
2The Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel-Aviv University, Tel-Aviv 69978, Israel
3National Lab Service for ILD, Institute of Pulmonary and Allergic Diseases, Tel-Aviv Sourasky Medical Center, Tel-Aviv 64239, Israel

Received 13 October 2005; Accepted 12 December 2005

Copyright © 2006 Yehuda Lerman et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


We investigated whether metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) values in induced sputum (IS) and pulmonary function tests can serve as a marker of damage and intensity of exposure to hazardous dust. Thirty-nine factory employees (28 workers exposed to metal particles and 11 supposedly nonexposed office workers) underwent IS induction. Samples were processed by conventional methods within 2 hours. The proportion of particles with diameters of 0–2 μ in IS samples was significantly higher in nonexposed than exposed workers and in smoker compared to nonsmoker workers. MMP-9 and TIMP-1 levels were similar for both groups. A linear regression model for MMP-9 based on exposure, smoking habits, and proportion of particles <5μ revealed a positive correlation between each of the explanatory variables and MMP-9 values. MMP-9 may serve as a marker for pulmonary injury.