Epithelial cell proliferation in oral lichen planus

Y Taniguchi, T Nagao, H Maeda, Y Kameyama, K A A S Warnakulasuriya
Cell Proliferation 2002, 35 Suppl 1: 103-9
Although the pathogenesis of oral lichen planus (OLP) is not clear, a small proportion of cases with OLP are reported to transform to cancer. We examined the epithelial cell proliferation status of OLP to relate the labelling index to microscopic features surveyed routinely in pathology. Mucosal biopsies obtained from 44 cases diagnosed with OLP with an intact oral epithelium and 10 normal control specimens from Japanese subjects were immunohistochemically stained with MIB and p53 antibodies. The Ki67 labelling index (LI) was significantly higher in OLP compared with normal controls. A particularly large number of OLP lesions (64%) were p53 positive. No association was, however, found with p53 expression and the Ki67 LI. Atrophic and flat epithelia had a quantitatively higher LI, which did not significantly differ from acanthotic biopsies. Increased cell proliferation in OLP is likely to be a secondary phenomenon due to the damage inflicted on keratinocytes by infiltrating mononuclear cells in the submucosa.

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