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ALDH1 immunoexpression in epithelial and stromal cells of oral lichen planus and lesions with lichenoid inflammatory infiltrate.

BACKGROUND: Oral Lichen Planus is a potential malignant disorder and shares clinical and histopathological features with other similar lesions. ALDH1 is a specific biomarker for stem cells identification, however its role in stromal cells of immune inflammatory infiltrate has not been explored. The aim of this study was to investigate the ALDH1 immunoexpression in epithelial and stromal cells of Oral Lichen Planus and other lesions with lichenoid inflammatory infiltrate.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: 64 samples of Oral Lichen Planus, Oral Lichenoid Lesions, Oral Leukoplakia and Unspecific Chronic Inflammation were included. ALDH1 was evaluated in both epithelium and stromal cells. ALDH1+ cells ≥ 5% were considered positive in epithelium. Stromal cells were evaluated semi quantitatively. Fields were ranked in scores, according to criteria: 1 (0 to 10%); 2 (11 to 50%) and 3 (>50%). The mean value of the sum of the fields was the final score. Statistical differences among groups were investigated, considering p < 0.05.

RESULTS: ALDH1 expression in epithelium was low in all groups without difference among them. ALDH1+ cells in the lamina propria were higher for Lichen Planus [2.0], followed by Leukoplakia [1.3], Lichenoid lesions [1.2] and control [1.1] (p<0.05).

CONCLUSIONS: ALDH1 immunoexpression in epithelium of lichenoid potential malignant disorders did not show a contributory tool, however ALDH1 in stromal cells of lichen planus might be involved in the complex process of immune regulation associated with the pathogenesis of this disease.

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