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J Cancer Res Ther. 2012 Apr-Jun;8(2):199-203. doi: 10.4103/0973-1482.98970.

Pathogenesis of oral submucous fibrosis.

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Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology, Yenepoya Dental College, Yenepoya University, Deralakatte, Mangalore, Karnataka, India.


Data from recent epidemiological studies provide overwhelming evidence that areca nut is the main etiological factor for oral submucous fibrosis (OSF). It is logical to hypothesize that the increased collagen synthesis or reduced collagen degradation is the possible mechanism in the development of the disease. There are numerous biological pathways involved in the above processes and it is likely that the normal regulatory mechanisms are either down regulated or up regulated at different stages of the disease. The copper content of areca nut is high and the possible role of copper as a mediator of fibrosis is supported by the demonstration of the up regulation of lysyl oxidase in OSMF biopsies. The aim of this article is to emphasize that the incorporation of copper into the areca nut is through the Bordeaux mixture, which is sprayed as a fungicide on areca plantations in regions with scheduled monsoons and of which copper sulfate is an important constituent.

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