[en] Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease characterized by profound extracellular matrix changes referred to as bronchial remodelling. In this study, we evaluated matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) and tissue inhibitors of MMPs (TIMPs) mRNA expression in bronchial secretions of asthmatics and correlated MMPs modulations with the lung function as a reflection of the bronchial extracellular matrix remodelling. Quantitative RT-PCR was performed on cell pellets obtained from induced sputum in order to detect the mRNAs for MMP-1, -2, -3, -8, -9, -12, -13 TIMP-1, -2, while semiquantitative RT-PCR was performed to assess the expression of MMP-7, monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1) and transforming growth factor-beta(1) (TGF-beta(1)). The mRNA transcripts for MMP-1, TIMP-1 and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1) were increased in cell pellets of induced sputum from asthmatics when compared to controls (P<0.05), and the intensity of MMP-1 mRNA expression inversely correlated with the FEV(1) in asthmatics (r=-0.49, P<0.05). The MMP-1 mRNA/TIMP-1 mRNA ratio correlated with the levels of MCP-1 mRNA in asthmatics (r=0.47, P<0.05). There were no differences between the groups with respect to mRNA coding for MMP-2, -3, -7, -8, -9, -12, -13, -14, TIMP-2 and TGF-beta(1). We conclude that cells contained in the bronchial secretions from asthmatics express higher amounts of mRNA for MMP-1 and TIMP-1, perhaps related to an increased expression of MCP-1, which might contribute to the extracellular matrix changes observed during airway remodelling.