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Simultaneous detection of IFN-gamma and IL-4 in lesional tissues and whole unstimulated saliva from patients with oral lichen planus


Bin Cheng, Department of Oral Medicine, Guanghua School of Stomatology, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, 510060, China. Tel: +8620 83741891, Fax: +8620 83822807, E-mail:


Background:  Although the roles of interferon (IFN)-gamma and interlekin (IL)-4 in oral lichen planus (OLP) have been described extensively in past decades, the available results are controversial. Moreover, few studies have utilized simultaneous detection of cytokines in local tissues and saliva to determine whether salivary cytokines could reflect the fact of local lesions.

Methods:  IFN-gamma and IL-4 were determined simultaneously in lesions and whole unstimulated saliva (WUS) from OLP patients with various clinical forms.

Results:  In OLP lesions, both IFN-gamma and IL-4 in erythematous/ulcerated OLP were higher significantly than that in control specimens. In WUS, however, only IFN-gamma of erythematous/ulcerated OLP was increased compared with control. Remarkably, IFN-gamma and IL-4 in WUS showed a more significant correlation to those in local tissues of all subjects.

Conclusion:  These results indicate that both IFN-gamma and IL-4 may play more important role in pathogenesis of erythematous/ulcerated OLP, and changes of these proinflammatory cytokines in WUS may reflect the status of the OLP lesion.