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Med Electron Microsc. 2003 Jun;36(2):94-7.

Localization of human beta-defensin 3 mRNA in normal oral epithelium, leukoplakia, and lichen planus: an in situ hybridization study.

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Department of Oral Pathology, School of Dentistry, Health Sciences University of Hokkaido, Hokkaido 061-0293, Japan.


Human beta-defensin 3 (hBD-3), an antimicrobial peptide, is produced by various epithelial and some nonepithelial tissues. hBD-3 mRNA is widely expressed in oral tissues, including oral epithelium and the salivary glands. Although the localization of hBD-1 and hBD-2 has been well demonstrated in tissue sections, the localization pattern of hBD-3 has not yet been shown. In the present study, we investigated the expression pattern of hBD-3 mRNA by in situ hybridization using specific RNA probes; the signal for hBD-3 was detected in upper spinous and granular layers in normal oral epithelium. In cases of leukoplakia, a strong signal of hBD-3 mRNA was observed in the granular layer. In lichen planus, the signal was strongly detected in the spinous and suprabasal layers. The signals were stronger than those of either normal oral epithelium or leukoplakia. The results indicate that the localization pattern of hBD-3 is very similar to that of hBD-2. hBD-2 and hBD-3 may function together or compensate each other for expressional loss.

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