A common matrix metalloproteinases-3 (MMP-3) -1612 5A/6A promoter polymorphism is associated with risk for cardiovascular disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and other diseases. Here we used the haplotype chromatin immunoprecipitation method to study allele-specific MMP-3 expression under in vivo conditions in heterozygous THP-1 cells. Pyrosequencing was used to analyse the ratio of 5A-allele to 6A-allele after chromatin immunoprecipitation using an antibody against phosphorylated active RNA polymerase II. There was no allele-specific difference in transcriptional activity during basal conditions, i.e., in unstimulated monocytic THP-1 cells. However, after stimulation of MMP-3 expression by monocyte differentiation or incubation with IL-1beta, the haplotype containing the 5A-allele was associated with higher transcriptional activity compared with the 6A-containing haplotype. Electromobility shift assay demonstrated increased binding of nuclear proteins to the 5A-allele after monocyte differentiation. In conclusion, the common MMP-3 5A/6A promoter polymorphism appears to be functional only during specific environmental conditions involving inflammation.