Metallothionein, a marker of antiapoptosis, is associated with clinical forms of oral lichen planus
To investigate the expression of anti- and proapoptosis markers, metallothionein (MT), and caspase-2, in the epithelial and inflammatory cells of oral lichen planus (OLP) patients, and to investigate the association with clinical parameters.
Materials and Methods
Included were biopsies of 70 OLP patients. The clinical data were collected from patients' charts. The expression of MT and caspase-2 was immunomorphometrically analyzed in the epithelial and inflammatory cells, and the results were correlated with the clinical presentation.
The epithelial and inflammatory cells expressed MT (10.2 ± 5.75 and 0.68 ± 0.86) and caspase-2 (1.54 ± 2.6 and 0.98 ± 1.15) which show a trend toward an inverse expression. The expression of MT in the epithelium was significantly higher in patients presenting with keratotic lichen planus than in patients with the atrophic and erosive forms (P = 0.0008). In the inflammatory cells, the expression of MT was inversely correlated with increasing age (R = 0.34, P = 0.0069).
The pattern of expression of MT and caspase-2 in OLP suggests an extensive antiapoptotic response in the keratotic form of the disease. Symptomatic patients may benefit from therapy targeted to apoptosis in the future.