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Mediators of Inflammation
Volume 13, Issue 2, Pages 131-133
http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09629350410001688530

Salivary levels of tumor necrosis factor-α in oral lichen planus

1Department of Oral Medicine, Medical Faculty, University of Rijeka, Brace Branchetta 20, Rijeka 51000, Croatia
2Department of Dental Pathology, Medical Faculty, University of Rijeka, Brace Branchetta 20, Rijeka 51000, Croatia
3Department of Microbiology, Medical Faculty, University of Rijeka, Brace Branchetta 20, Rijeka 51000, Croatia
4Department of Informatics, Medical Faculty, University of Rijeka, Brace Branchetta 20, Rijeka 51000, Croatia
5Department of Prosthetic Dentistry, Medical Faculty, University of Rijeka, Brace Branchetta 20, Rijeka 51000, Croatia

Copyright © 2004 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: Oral lichen planus (OLP) is chronic inflammatory disease of the oral mucosa, presenting in various clinical forms. The etiology of OLP is still unknown but mounting evidence points to the immunologic basis of this disorder.

Aim: Our study was undertaken to quantify the salivary levels of pro-inflammatory tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) in the reticular and the erosive/atrophic forms of OLP, compared with age-matched healthy control volunteers.

Subjects and methods: Whole saliva from 40 patients with active lesions of OLP, as well as from 20 healthy persons, was investigated for the presence of TNF-α by enzyme immunoassay.

Results: Salivary TNF-α levels were significantlly increased in patients with OLP in comparison with healthy subjects. The presence of TNF-α showed positive correlation to clinical forms of OLP, being significantly higher in the erosive/atrophic type than in the reticular type of disease.

Conclusion: Saliva provides an ideal medium for the detection of pro-inflammatory markers of the oral cavity. In patients with OLP, TNF-α levels in saliva are elevated, correlating with the severity of illness. Salivary TNF-α analysis may be a useful diagnostic tool and a potential prognostic marker in OLP.