Background Recurrent aphthous ulceration (RAU) is considered to be an acute inflammatory disease of unknown pathogenesis. Apoptosis may represent an important event in the control of inflammation.
Objectives The aim of this study was to investigate apoptosis process in RAU using immunohistochemistry.
Methods We studied the expression and location of p53, bcl-2 and bax in ulcerated lesions clinically diagnosed as RAU (n = 12) and compared it with that of oral clinically normal mucosa (n = 6) and of other inflammatory chronic disease such as oral fibrous inflammatory hyperplasia (FIH; n = 18).
Results Significant statistically differences (n < 0.05) in p53 expression were noticed in RAU when compared with normal mucosa. No significant statistically differences (P > 0.05) were noticed between FIH and RAU. Bcl-2 and bax did not show remarkable differences between groups.
Conclusions Taken together, the data suggest that RAU induces p53 immunoexpression. Therefore, the protein might be related to the aetiopathogenesis of the ulcerated oral lesions.