Oral Diseases (2012) 18, 793–801
Objectives: The objectives of this study were to determine (i) the expression of oral cytokeratins (CKs) among human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected subjects compared with non-HIV controls, (ii) the oral CK expression in the subjects with highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) compared with those without HAART, and (iii) factors associated with the expression of oral CKs.
Materials and methods: Oral tissues from buccal mucosa were obtained by punched biopsy in HIV-infected subjects with and without HAART, and non-HIV individuals. The samples were processed for immunohistochemical studies of CK1, CK13, CK14, CK16, and involucrin. The staining intensity was scored and recorded. Logistic regression analysis and multi-way ANOVA test were performed.
Results: The expression of CK13, CK14, and CK16 was found to be significantly different between HIV-infected subjects and non-HIV individuals (P < 0.05). The expression of those CKs was also significantly different between those who were and were not on HAART (P < 0.05). No significant difference between the groups was observed regarding CK1 and involucrin.
Conclusions: Oral epithelial cell differentiation as marked by the CK expression is affected by HIV infection and use of HAART. CKs may be the useful biomarkers to identify HIV-infected subjects who are at risk of malignant transformation of the oral mucosa because of HIV infection and HAART.