Volume 16, Number 4, December 2004

Expression of Human α- and β-Defensins in Odontogenic Keratocysts and Radicular Cysts

Tomohito Yoshimoto,1 Nobuyoshi Mizukawa,1 Koichi Sawaki,1 Makoto Nakano,1 Eiki Yamachika,1 Toshio Sugahara,1 Tomoichiro Yamaai2

1Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Reconstructive Surgery, and 2Department of Oral Function and Anatomy, Okayama University Dental School, Okayama, Japan

Objective: To identify the location of human β-defensin-2 and human α-defensins in odontogenic keratocysts and radicular cysts.
Patients and Methods: Immunohistochemical staining of tissue sections from enucleation specimens of 14 patients with odontogenic keratocysts and 19 patients with radicular cysts, and from normal oral mucosa from 2 healthy volunteers was done using mouse monoclonal antibodies against human cytokeratin 5/6 and rabbit polyclonal antibodies against human β-defensin-2.
Results: Human β-defensin-2 immunoreactivity was evident in 10 of 14 odontogenic keratocysts (72%), and in 7 of 19 radicular cysts (37%). Signals for human β-defensin-2 were detected in the cytoplasm of keratinocytes in the parakeratinised and granular layers in both types of cysts. The localisation of human β-defensin-2 did not differ between cysts and normal mucosa. Human α-defensin immunoreactivity was detected in both types of cysts, but not in keratinocytes. Signals for human α-defensins were detected in the cytoplasm of neutrophils in the lamina propria.
Conclusion: Many cysts generate human β-defensin-2 and human α-defensins suggesting that similar defence mechanisms utilising defensins exist in both types of cysts, as well as in normal oral mucosa.

Key words:
alpha-Defensins, beta-defensin-2, Odontogenic cysts, Radicular cyst

Asian J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2004;16:242-247.

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