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Arch Oral Biol. 1992;37(7):539-47.

A comparative immunological analysis of the oral mucosa in chronic graft-versus-host disease and oral lichen planus.

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Department of Oral Surgery, Karolinska Institutet, Huddinge, Sweden.


Oral mucosal biopsies of 12 allogeneic marrow transplant recipients with chronic graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) involving the mouth were compared with biopsies taken before transplantation. They were also compared with biopsies from otherwise healthy patients with oral lichen planus, and with those from a control group of normal individuals. Biopsies from chronic GVHD exhibited a low number of infiltrating T lymphocytes (CD3 cells) compared with those from oral lichen planus, which showed intense cell infiltration (p less than 0.005). The ratio of CD4 to CD8 cells in biopsies taken after the manifestation of chronic GVHD exhibited no consistent variation compared with those taken before transplantation or with biopsies of oral lichen planus. The CD4/CD8 ratio in all groups investigated varied between 4:1 and 6:1. The number of natural killer cells (CD57), was increased in biopsy specimens taken before transplantation compared with the other groups. The frequency of homing receptor, Leu-8 bearing T cells was low in the biopsy specimens of all groups, compared with the corresponding frequency in peripheral blood (10-45 and 60-90%, respectively; p less than 0.001). In the biopsies from chronic GVHD and oral lichen planus the number of lymphocytes with transferrin receptors was increased compared with the pretransplant and control groups. Virtually no infiltrating cells were carrying interleukin-2 receptors (CD25) in any of the groups studied. Langerhans cells (CD1) were more frequently found in the specimens from chronic GVHD and oral lichen planus than in the pretransplant specimens and the control group (p less than 0.001).(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).

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