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Langerhans Cells and T Cells Sense Cell Dysplasia in Oral Leukoplakias and Oral Squamous Cell Carcinomas - Evidence for Immunosurveillance

Journal article
Authors Jenny Öhman
Bengt Magnusson
Esbjörn Telemo
Mats Jontell
Bengt Hasséus
Published in Scandinavian Journal of Immunology
Volume 76
Issue 1
Pages 39-48
ISSN 0300-9475
Publication year 2012
Published at Institute of Odontology
Institute of Odontology, Section 1
Institute of Medicine, Department of Rheumatology and Inflammation Research
Pages 39-48
Language en
Keywords dendritic cells, lichen-planus, epithelial dysplasia, premalignant, lesions, immune-responses, birbeck granules, melanoma-cells, tumor-cells, in-vivo, cancer
Subject categories Other Medical Sciences


Leukoplakias (LPLs) are lesions in the oral mucosa that may develop into oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC). The objective of this study was to assess presence and distribution of dendritic Langerhans cells (LCs) and T cells in patients with LPLs with or without cell dysplasia and in oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC). Biopsy specimens from patients with leukoplakias (LPLs) with or without dysplasia and oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) were immunostained with antibodies against CD1a, Langerin, CD3, CD4, CD8 and Ki67, followed by quantitative analysis. Analyses of epithelium and connective tissue revealed a significantly higher number of CD1a + LCs in LPLs with dysplasia compared with LPLs without dysplasia. Presence of Langerin + LCs in epithelium did not differ significantly between LPLs either with or without dysplasia and OSCC. T cells were found in significantly increased numbers in LPLs with dysplasia and OSCC. The number of CD4+ cells did not differ significantly between LPLs with and without dysplasia, but a significant increase was detected when comparing LPLs with dysplasia with OSCC. CD8+ cells were significantly more abundant in OSCC and LPLs with dysplasia compared with LPLs without dysplasia. Proliferating cells (Ki67+) were significantly more abundant in OSCC compared to LPLs with dysplasia. Confocal laser scanning microscopy revealed colocalization of LCs and T cells in LPLs with dysplasia and in OSCC. LCs and T cells are more numerous in tissue compartments with dysplastic epithelial cells and dramatically increase in OSCC. This indicates an ongoing immune response against cells with dysplasia.

Page Manager: Webmaster|Last update: 9/11/2012

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