Aims: Several anti-tumour properties have been ascribed to the tissue inhibitor of matrix metalloproteinases-3 (TIMP3) gene, including inhibition of neovascularisation in tumour xenografts. Reduced protein expression has been linked to promoter hypermethylation and allelic loss of heterozygosity in various human malignancies. In melanoma-positive lymph nodes from patients, we evaluated the association between TIMP3 expression, vessel density, macrophage infiltration and potential correlations with disease-free survival (DFS) and overall survival (OS). Patients and methods: TIMP3 expression was analysed by immunohistochemistry (IHC) in melanoma lymph node biopsies of stage III melanoma patients (n = 43). Blood vessel density and macrophage infiltration were quantitatively assessed and correlation with TIMP3 expression was investigated. Methylation status of the gene promoter was determined using methylation-specific polymerase chain reaction (MSP). Protein expression and promoter methylation status were investigated for associations with DFS and OS. Results: Reduced expression of TIMP3, as determined by IHC, was observed in 74% of the cases (32 in 43). A significant inverse correlation was observed between TIMP3 expression and vessel density (p = 0.031). Correlation between TIMP3 expression and macrophage infiltration was not statistically significant (p = 0.369). MSP analysis revealed methylation of the gene promoter in 18% (7 in 38) of the analysed cases. No differences in OS and DFS were observed between cases with high and low TIMP3 expression. Gene promoter methylation was significantly associated with both poor 5-year DFS (p = 0.024) and OS (p = 0.034). Conclusions: Our data indicate that TIMP3 is a dominant negative regulator of angiogenesis in cutaneous melanoma and gene silencing by promoter methylation is associated with poor outcome. (C) 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.