Background: Oral lichenoid reactions are intractable inflammatory diseases of oral mucosa. The cytokine profiles of intralesional blood remain unclear. We aim at revealing the intralesional cytokine profiles and providing some actual and stable intralesional cytokine biomarkers to evaluate the severity and therapeutic effects of oral lichenoid reactions.
Methods: Paired intralesional and peripheral plasma from 26 patients with oral lichenoid reactions were collected. The concentration of 15 cytokines of granzyme B, IL-2, IL-4, IL-5, IL-6, IL-10, IL-12p70, IL17A, TNF-α, IFN-α, IFN-β, IFN-γ, TGF-β1, TGF-β2 and TGF-β3 was measured by Luminex assays. REU score was used for evaluating the severity of the disease.
Results: Eleven cytokines including IL-10, IFN-α, IL-6, IL-17A, granzyme B, TGF-β1, TGF-β2, TGF-β3, IL-2, TNF-α, IL-12p70 were detected within the reliable working range. IL-10 was detected in less intralesional samples (19/26) than peripheral samples (26/26, p=0.01). The cytokine concentrations from intralesional plasma were significantly elevated in granzyme B (median 108.94 vs. 16.00), TGF-β1 (mean 30448.92 vs. 10199.04), TGF-β2 (mean 1659.73 vs. 1308.49) and TGF-β3 (mean 914.33 vs. 573.13) than that in peripheral plasma (p=0.001, p＜0.001, p＜0.001 and p＜0.001, respectively). The concentration of IL-12p70 in peripheral plasma was positively correlated with REU score (coefficient of correlation=0.463, p=0.02).
Conclusions: The concentration of granzyme B and TGF-β are more abundant in intralesional microenvironment than in peripheral plasma of oral lichenoid reactions. IL-12p70 may be a potential molecular biomarker for evaluating the severity of oral lichenoid reactions. Cohort study of large population is required.