Volume 15, Number 2, June 2003

Presence of Human β-Defensin-2 in Oral Lichen Planus and its Histamine Releasing Effect

Nobuyoshi Mizukawa,1 Koichi Sawaki,1 Hitoshi Nagatsuka,2 Eiki Yamachika,1 Takaaki Ueno,1 Joji Fukunaga,1 Shin Takagi,1 Toshio Sugahara1

1Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Okayama University Dental School, Okayama, Japan
2Department of Oral Pathology, Okayama University Dental School, Okayama, Japan

Objective: To determine by immunohistochemical means the localization of human β-defensin-2, a peptide with antimicrobial activity, in oral lichen planus. The release of histamine from mast cells elicited by human β-defensin-2 was also investigated.
Patients and Methods: Biopsy specimens of oral lichen planus, synthetic human β-defensin-2, human α-defensin-1, and mast cells isolated from Sprague Dawley rats were used. Tissue sections were embedded in paraffin and immunostained by the streptavidin-biotin-coupled peroxidase method. Isolated rat mast cells were injected with synthetic human β-defensin-2 and human α-defensin-1. Evans blue dye was injected into the tail vein of Sprague Dawley rats, followed by various doses of histamine, human β-defensin-2, human α-defensin-1, and saline.
Results: Epithelial cells in lichen planus from the corneal layer to the spinous layer, were positively stained with anti-human β-defensin-2 antibody. Mast cells in subepithelial areas were also stained by anti-human β-defensin-2 antibody. Human β-defensin-2-induced histamine release from the isolated rat mast cells occurs in a dose-dependent manner. When human β-defensin-2 was injected into rat skin intradermally, the vascular permeability increased. These responses were completely abolished upon injection of the antihistamine drug diphenhydramine hydrochloride.
Conclusion: Human β-defensin-2 and histamine may play an important role in the formation of oral lichen planus.

Key words:
Beta defensins, Epithelial cells, Histamine, Lichen planus, Mast cells

Asian J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2003;15:112-117.
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