Myeloid dendritic cells stimulated by thymic stromal lymphopoietin promote Th2 immune responses and the pathogenesis of oral lichen planus

Masaki Yamauchi, Masafumi Moriyama, Jun Nosuke Hayashida, Takashi Maehara, Noriko Ishiguro, Keigo Kubota, Sachiko Furukawa, Miho Ohta, Mizuki Sakamoto, Akihiko Tanaka, Seiji Nakamura

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Oral lichen planus (OLP) is a chronic inflammatory disease characterized by subepithelial Tcell infiltration. Recent studies reported that specific T helper (Th) subsets, especially Th2 cells, are involved in the pathogenesis of OLP. Thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP) is mainly secreted by epithelial cells and potently activates myeloid dendritic cells (mDCs) to induce Th2-mediated inflammation. Here, we investigated the expression of TSLP and related molecules in OLP. Buccal mucosa specimens from patients with OLP, hyperkeratosis, and ulcer were analyzed by immunohistochemistry for expression of TSLP, its receptor (TSLPR), and inflammatory cells. TSLP was detected in/around the epithelium of patients with OLP and hyperkeratosis, whereas TSLPR, CD11c (mDC), and GATA3 (Th2) were strongly expressed in the subepithelial layer only in OLP patients. Double immunofluorescence staining showed that TSLPR expression mainly co-localized with CD11c. Moreover, the number of CD11c- and GATA-3 positive cells was correlated in OLP patients. In lesions selectively extracted by laser microdissection, the mRNA expression of Th2 (IL-4, MDC, TARC, GATA3)- and Th17 (IL-17, RORγt)-related molecules in OLP patients was significantly higher than in other groups. These results suggest that CD11c+ mDCs expressing TSLPR contribute to aberrant Th2 immune responses and the pathogenesis of OLP via TSLP stimulation.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0173017
JournalPloS one
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2017


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General

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