Potential pathogenetic role of Th17, Th0, and Th2 cells in erosive and reticular oral lichen planus

Oral Dis. 2014 Mar;20(2):212-8. doi: 10.1111/odi.12094. Epub 2013 Apr 5.


Objectives: The role of Th17 cells and associated cytokines was investigated in oral lichen planus.

Material and methods: 14 consecutive patients with oral lichen planus were investigated. For biological studies, tissues were taken from reticular or erosive lesions and from normal oral mucosa (controls) of the same patient. mRNA expression for IL-17F, IL-17A, MCP-1, IL-13, IL-2, IL-10, IL-1β, RANTES, IL-4, IL-12B, IL-8, IFN-γ, TNF-α, IL-1α, IL-18, TGF-β1, IL-23R, IL-7, IL-15, IL-6, MIG, IP-10, LTB, VEGF, IL-5, IL-27, IL-23A, GAPDH, PPIB, Foxp3, GATA3, and RORC was measured using the QuantiGene 2.0.

Results: Results showed that Th17-type and Th0-type molecules' mRNAs, when compared with results obtained from tissue controls, were increased in biopsies of erosive lesions, whereas Th2-type molecules' mRNAs were increased in reticular lesions. When the CD4+ T-cell clones, derived from oral lichen planus tissues and tissue controls, were analyzed, a higher prevalence of Th17 (confirmed by an increased CD161 expression) and Th0 CD4+ T clones was found in erosive lesions, whereas a prevalence of Th2 clones was observed in reticular lesions.

Conclusions: Our data suggest that Th17, Th0, and Th2 cells, respectively, may have a role in the pathogenesis of erosive and reticular oral lichen planus.

Keywords: Th17; autoimmunity; lichen planus; lymphocytes; mucosa; oral.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cytokines / immunology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lichen Planus, Oral / immunology*
  • Lichen Planus, Oral / pathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Th17 Cells / immunology*
  • Th2 Cells / immunology*


  • Cytokines