Proinflammatory cytokine levels in saliva before and after treatment of (erosive) oral lichen planus with dexamethasone

N. L. Rhodus, B. Cheng, W. Bowles, S. Myers, L. Miller, F. Ondrey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

94 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: To explore the potential of detecting the level of proinflammatory cytokines, tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α), interleukin-1-alpha (IL-1-α), IL-6, and IL-8 in whole unstimulated saliva (WUS) in monitoring the therapeutic effects of topical dexamethasone on these salivary cytokines in subjects with erosive oral lichen planus (OLP). STUDY DESIGN: Thirteen definitively diagnosed OLP subjects were enrolled in the study as were 13 age- and sex-matched controls. The OLP subjects were treated with 0.1% dexamethasone oral rinse for 6 weeks. Prior to treatment and at the end of clinical trial, the visual analog scale (VAS) for symptoms was recorded, WUS was collected and these proinflammatory cytokines were analyzed by ELISA. RESULTS: Following the dexamethasone treatment, the levels of TNF-α, IL-1-α, IL-6, and IL-8 were decreased significantly, and IL-1-α and IL-8 were detected at a level without a statistically significant difference from controls. VAS value was decreased significantly and was found to significantly correlate with the decrease in IL-1-α and IL-8 levels. CONCLUSIONS: These preliminary results indicate that salivary analysis of NF-κB-dependent cytokines may be applied to monitoring the therapeutic response of OLP.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)112-116
Number of pages5
JournalOral Diseases
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2006

Bibliographical note

Copyright 2008 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Dexamethasone
  • NF-κB-dependent cytokines
  • Oral lichen planus
  • Whole unstimulated saliva


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