Elevated serum levels of the apoptosis related molecules TNF-α, Fas/Apo-1 and Bcl-2 in oral lichen planus


Alexandra Sklavounou-Andrikopoulou, 5 Sismanoglou Street, P. Psychico 154-52, Athens, Greece. Tel.: 0030 210 746 1284, 0030 210 674 1930. Fax: 0030 210 779 5600. E-mail: asklavou@dent.uoa.gr


Background:  The serum circulatory levels of apoptosis related molecules measured in patients with oral lichen planus (OLP) and healthy individuals in order to investigate possible alterations associated with the clinical forms of OLP.

Methods:  Serum levels of tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, soluble Fas (sFas) and Bcl-2 studied by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay in whole blood samples in 13 OLP reticular, 13 OLP atrophic-erosive form patients and 26 healthy subjects.

Results:  Significantly elevated levels of TNF-α and sFas detected in OLP patients as compared with controls. Serum concentrations of Bcl-2 although increased in 17/26 patients, they were not statistically significant. Reticular OLP exhibited slightly elevated TNF-α and significantly elevated Bcl-2 serum levels, compared with erosive OLP.

Conclusions:  These data suggest that a putative dysfunction in the Fas/FasL mediated apoptosis might be involved in the OLP pathogenesis. A downregulation of Bcl-2 serum levels in the atrophic-erosive OLP may be associated with promotion of the disease activity.