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Oral Microbiol Immunol. 1998 Aug;13(4):253-8.

Characterization of lymphocyte subpopulations in periapical lesions by flow cytometry.

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Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale, Unit 466, Toulouse, France.


The mechanisms by which the bacterial root-canal infection leads to periapical bone destruction (cysts or granulomas) are not yet well understood. Previous works have shown elements of an active immune response in the lesions. In the present study, flow cytometry was used to improve the characterization of immune cells. Semiquantitative immunohistochemical analysis showed the presence of plasma cells, macrophages and B and T cells. The simultaneous use of several antibodies in flow cytometry allowed a more precise phenotype of the lymphocytes. The cysts displayed an abundance of B lymphocytes at the same time as a relative scarcity of CD8+ cells. CD4+ lymphocytes were the dominant lymphocyte population in most cases. A small number of gamma delta T lymphocytes and natural killer cells was found. These preliminary results show that flow cytometry may be used to characterize immune cells from inflamed tissue and opens the possibility for further functional studies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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