The pathophysiology of pelvic floor dysfunction resulting in stress urinary incontinence (SUI) in women is complex. Evidence suggests that there is also a genetic predisposition towards SUI. We sought to identify differentially expressed genes involved in extracellular matrix (ECM) metabolism in vaginal tissues from women with SUI in the secretory phase of menses compared with asymptomatic women.Tissue samples were taken from the periurethral vaginal wall of five pairs of premenopausal, age-matched SUI and continent women and subjected to microarray analysis using the GeneChip Human Genome U133 oligonucleotide chip set.Extensive statistical analyses generated a list of 79 differentially expressed genes. Elafin, keratin 16, collagen type XVII and plakophilin 1 were consistently identified as up-regulated ECM genes. Elafin, a serine protease inhibitor involved in the elastin degradation pathway and wound healing, was expressed in pelvic fibroblasts and confirmed by Western blot, quantitative competitive PCR and immunofluorescence cell staining.Genes involved in elastin metabolism were differentially expressed in vaginal tissue from women with SUI, suggesting that elastin remodelling may be important in the molecular aetiology of SUI.
View details for DOI 10.1093/humrep/dei276
View details for Web of Science ID 000233846700003
View details for PubMedID 16126751