JOURNAL ARTICLE

Immunohistochemical study of oral lichen planus associated with hepatitis C virus infection, oral lichenoid contact sensitivity reaction and idiopathic oral lichen planus

H Mega, W W Jiang, M Takagi
Oral Diseases 2001, 7 (5): 296-305
12117205

OBJECTIVES: Oral lichen planus (OLP) is a common mucocutaneous disorder and might be associated to a possible pathogenic relationship with hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection or hypersensitivity to dental alloy. We examined the clinical and immunohistochemical features of OLP associated with HCV infection (OLP-HCV), oral lichenoid contact sensitivity reaction (OLCSR), and idiopathic oral lichen planus (iOLP). The immunohistochemical expressions of CD4, CD8, B cells, Class II major histocompatibility complex antigen (HLA-DR), S-100, HSP60, Proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) and Ki-67 were compared to study the pathogenic differences of the three OLP groups.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Three groups of OLP patients, (I) OLP-HCV patients (n = 17), (2) OLCSR patients (n = 10) and (3) iOLP patients (n = 14) were retrieved from clinical records and tissues examined immunohistochemically by the avidin-biotin-complex technique.

RESULTS: The patients with OLP-HCV showed widespread lesions. The proportion of CD8+ cells was found to be significantly higher in the lamina propria of the OLP-HCV patients and a significantly lower proportion of CD8+ cells of the OLCSR patients was noticed in the epithelium or the connective tissue papillae than in the iOLP patients. There were no significant differences in either the number of CD4+ cells or B cells between the three OLP groups. No significant differences in the number of HLA-DR+ cells were found between the three OLP groups and some OLP-HCV patients showed a significant increase of S-100+ cells in the epithelium compared with iOLP patients. There were no significant differences in either the number of PCNA+ or Ki-67+ cells between the groups. The patients showed similar weak expressions of HSP60 in the three OLP groups.

CONCLUSION: The different distributions of the CD8+ cells that could have functionally different roles might be related to the distinct pathogenic mechanisms in the three OLP groups.

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