Accumulation of CD1a-positive Langerhans cells and mast cells in actinic cheilitis
LCs and MCs are known to be directly influenced by UV radiation. This study investigated the presence of Langerhans cells (LCs) and mast cells (MCs) in actinic cheilitis (AC) exhibiting epithelial dysplasia (ED). Using immunohistochemistry for CD1a and mast cell tryptase, LCs and MCs density was assessed in 35 cases of AC with different degrees of ED. LCs were found in 32 cases of AC whereas MCs were found in all cases. There was an increase in LCs density irrespective of degree of ED when the cases were compared to normal lip mucosa (P = 0.04343). No statistical difference in LCs density was observed regarding the different degrees of dysplasia (P > 0.05). Significant difference in MCs density between mild and moderate dysplasia and normal lip mucosa was found (P < 0.05). No significant correlation between LCs and MCs was seen (P = 0.1258). Although no correlation could be established between LCs and MCs and the different degrees of ED; it is possible that the accumulation of LCs plays an immunostimulatory and protective role in the defense against progression of dysplasia. Further studies are necessary to determine the role of MCs in the development of AC.
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