Clinical Oral Investigations

, Volume 17, Issue 5, pp 1365–1373 | Cite as

Inflammatory cells of immunosuppressive phenotypes in oral lichen planus have a proinflammatory pattern of expression and are associated with clinical parameters

  • Marilena VeredEmail author
  • Eran Fürth
  • Yifat Shalev
  • Dan Dayan
Original Article



We sought to investigate the expression of cells with immunosuppressive/protumorigenic phenotypes in oral lichen planus (OLP), such as M2-tumor-associated macrophages (TAM2), myeloid-derived suppressive cells (MDSCs), and regulatory T cells (Tregs) in association with clinical parameters.

Materials and methods

Cases of hyperkeratotic (HK)-OLP (n = 23) and erosive (E)-OLP (n = 26) were immunohistochemically stained to determine the percentages of CD163-TAM2, CD80-MDSCs, and FOXP3-Tregs of proinflammatory CD121a-Th17, CD4 and CD8 lymphocytes, and of cells positive for nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) and transforming growth factor beta. Clinical parameters included symptoms, treatment approach, treatment response, and others.


The inflammatory infiltrate in HK-OLP and E-OLP contained immunosuppressive cells; however, their pattern of expression was compatible with a proinflammatory response [membranous CD163-TAM2 staining (not extracellular), CD80+ lymphocytes (not macrophages), and a few Tregs]. The presence of CD4+, CD8+, and CD121a+ T lymphocytes was extensive. TAM2 were more frequent in E-OLP than in HK-OLP (P = 0.017). A higher frequency of CD80+ lymphocytes was associated with partial to no response to treatment (P = 0.028). Nuclear expression of NF-κB in the inflammatory cells was absent.


The pattern of expression of the immunosuppressive cells, together with numerous CD4+, CD8+, and Th17-CD121a+ lymphocytes, suggest an extensive proinflammatory response rather than an immunosuppressive/protumorigenic response.

Clinical relevance

The frequency of selective types of inflammatory cells calls for individual profile analyses of inflammatory infiltrates and individually adjusted treatment.


Oral lichen planus Tumor-associated macrophages Myeloid-derived suppressive cells Regulatory T cells Immune-suppressive/protumorigenic cells Novel treatment approach 



The authors would like to thank Mrs. Hana Vered for her technical assistance. Ms. Esther Eshkol is thanked for here editorial assistance. The study was supported by the Dave and Sarah Babish fund, School of Dental Medicine, Tel Aviv University.

Conflict of interest



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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marilena Vered
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Eran Fürth
    • 3
  • Yifat Shalev
    • 1
  • Dan Dayan
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Oral Pathology and Oral Medicine, School of Dental MedicineTel Aviv UniversityTel AvivIsrael
  2. 2.Institute of PathologyThe Chaim Sheba Medical CenterTel HashomerIsrael
  3. 3.Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery UnitTel Aviv Sourasky Medical CenterTel AvivIsrael

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