Mixed and inhomogeneous expression profile of Th1/Th2 related cytokines detected by cytometric bead array in the saliva of patients with oral lichen planus

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The aim of this study was to measure T helper (Th) 1/Th2–related cytokine expression in saliva from patients with oral lichen planus (OLP), compared with healthy controls (HC group) and controls with recurrent aphthous ulcers (RAU group).

Study Design.

Saliva was collected from 41 patients with OLP, 14 HCs, and 14 controls with RAU for Th1/Th2-related cytokines analysis with cytometric bead array. Disease activity in OLP was recorded by reticulation/keratosis, erythema, and ulceration scores.


Interleukin (IL)-6, IL-10, interferon-γ (IFN-γ), and IFN-γ/IL-4 in saliva were significantly higher in the OLP group than in the HC group. A positive and significant correlation among IL-6, IL-10, and reticulation/keratosis, erythema, and ulceration scores in the OLP group was revealed. Significantly increased IL-4, IL-5, IL-6, IL-10, tumor necrosis factor-α and IFN-γ/IL-4 were found in the RAU group.


Salivary cytokine profiles analyzed by cytometric bead array may provide a convenient research approach to OLP. Data indicated complicated Th1/Th2–related cytokine profile changes, rather than simple dominance model, in OLP. IL-10 and especially IL-6 may provide a surrogate endpoint for monitoring OLP.

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