FOXP3+ T regulatory cells in lesions of oral lichen planus correlated with disease activity

X. A. Tao, J. Xia, X. B. Chen, H. Wang, Y. H. Dai, Nelson L Rhodus, B. Cheng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


Objective: The aim of this study was to determine the correlation between the number of FOXP3+ T cell in lesions and the disease activity of patients with oral lichen planus (OLP). Materials and Methods: The expression of FOXP3 was investigated using immunohistochemical staining and real-time RT-PCR in 23 OLP lesions and 12 controls. Changes of FOXP3+ Treg in peripheral blood from three patients' pre and post-treatment were assessed using flow cytometry. Results: Few FOXP3+ cells were detected in controls, but an increased number of FOXP3+ cells were observed in lesions (n = 20, 40.99 ± 24.68 cells per high-power field - hpf). Furthermore, the frequency of FOXP3+ Treg in reticular OLP (n = 7, 63.6 ± 23.2 cells per hpf) was significantly higher than that in erythematous/erosive OLP (n = 13, 28.8 ± 16.8 cells per hpf, P = 0.001). In addition, negative correlation was found between the number of FOXP3+ Treg and disease activity (correlation oefficient = -0.557, P = 0.013). The proportion of FOXP3+ Treg showed remarkable increase in peripheral blood from patients after treatment (1.39 ± 0.71%vs 4.91 ± 1.59%). Conclusions: These data indicated that FOXP3+ Treg were involved in the pathogenesis of OLP and correlated with disease's subtype and activity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)76-82
Number of pages7
JournalOral Diseases
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2010


  • FOXP3
  • Oral lichen planus
  • Regulatory T cell


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