Introduction and hypothesisWe investigated whether the expression of alpha-1 antitrypsin (ATT), neutrophil elastase (NE), and lysyl oxidase-like protein 1 (LOXL-1) vary within the vagina in subjects with pelvic organ prolapse (POP).MethodsBiopsies were obtained from the anterior and posterior vaginal wall of 22 women with POP (≥stage 2 by POP-Q). The subjects were grouped by the most prominent defect: cystocele, cystocele plus uterine prolapse, and rectocele. Comparative real-time PCR, Western blotting, and NE enzyme activity assay were performed.ResultsThe ratio of anterior and posterior vaginal wall ATT, NE, and LOXL-1 expression varied between individuals within the same defect group.ConclusionsATT, NE, and LOXl-1 expression was variable among different biopsy sites in the vagina. No consistent pattern was present when the subjects were grouped by the most prominent defect. We recommend careful consideration of biopsy sites in future studies on POP to enhance reproducibility of data.