Context: Serum biomarkers may allow for early identification of post-traumatic osteoarthritis after anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury and reconstruction. Homeostasis of matrix-metalloproteinase-3 (MMP-3) and type II collagen turnover (C2C:CPII) biomarkers are believed to be compromised in individuals with ACL injury, yet the influence of sex, BMI, and age on these biomarkers before and after ACL reconstruction remains unknown.

Objective: To determine the relationship of sex, BMI, and age on serum levels of MMP-3 and C2C:CPII before and after ACL reconstruction.

Design: Descriptive Laboratory Study

Setting: Laboratory.

Patients: 32 (18F,14M) ACL-injured subjects participated in this study.

Main Outcome Measures: Demographic variables and blood samples were collected prior to surgery and at the time of return to activity. Serum was extracted from the blood and assays were used to quantify MMP-3 and C2C:CPII. Generalized linear mixed-effects regression models were used to assess the relationship between sex, BMI, time, age, and subject on the outcome variables.

Results: A significant time-sex interaction was identified for MMP-3 levels (P=0.021), whereby MMP-3 levels were higher in males at return to activity (Males:2.71±0.59ng/mL; Females:1.92±0.60ng/mL; P=0.017). Males also had higher MMP-3 levels at return to activity when compared to pre-surgery levels (P=0.009). A main effect for age demonstrated that older age was associated with higher MMP-3 levels. No significant main or interaction effects were noted for C2C:CPII levels.

Conclusions: MMP-3 serum levels may be upregulated following ACL reconstruction, particularly in men, which may have deleterious consequences for the cartilage matrix. Sex, BMI, and time did not influence C2C:CPII ratios but further research with larger sample sizes are needed to confirm these findings.

This content is only available as a PDF.