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Oral Dis. 1997 Jun;3(2):64-70.

Cellular immune correlates of clinical severity in oral lichen planus: preliminary association with mood states.

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Laboratory of Human Oral & Molecular Immunology, UCLA School of Dentistry 90095-1668, USA.



We investigated cellular immune and psycho-immune dysfunctions in patients with erosive and non-erosive oral lichen planus (OLP) lesions.


Patients with erosive or non-erosive OLP were screened at the UCLA Dental Clinic. The profile of mood states (POMS) was administered. T lymphocyte subpopulations were monitored by dual fluorescence. T lymphocytes were stimulated with phytohemagglutinin (PHA) for assessment of markers of activation by flow cytometry and of interleukin (IL)-2 production by ELISA. Plasma cortisol and neopterin levels were assessed by radioimmunoassay.


Circulating T cells that express the cluster of differentiation no. 4 (CD4+) but devoid of the CD45RA marker, and POMS score were significantly associated (r = 0.83, P < 0.05) in the patients we studied. We found a significantly higher (P < 0.05) per cent and absolute lymphocyte numbers of circulating CD4+CD45RA- cells in the OLP patients with erosive lesions, compared to OLP patients with non-erosive lesions. The ratio of CD4+ CD45RA+ over CD4+CD45RA- cells was significantly (P < 0.05) biased toward the CD4+CD45RA- subpopulation in OLP patients with erosive lesions (ratio = 0.19 +/- 0.09) compared to patients with non-erosive OLP lesions (ratio = 0.47 +/- 0.15). The expression of CD54, but not that of CD69, was significantly blunted (P < 0.05) in OLP patients following CD3+ cell stimulation. IL-2 production and plasma neopterin were normal in these patients. There was no correlation between plasma cortisol and T cell populations.


We find fine differences in psycho-immune interactions between patients afflicted with non-erosive OLP lesions compared to those with erosive OLP lesions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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