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Vulvar lichen sclerosus and lichen planus are T-cell-mediated chronic skin disorders. Although autoimmunity has been suggested, the exact pathogenesis of these disorders is still unknown. Therefore, the aim of the current study was to investigate the molecular and immunological mechanisms critical to the pathogenesis of vulvar lichen sclerosus and lichen planus. By using gene expression profiling and real-time RT-PCR experiments, we demonstrated a significantly increased expression of the pro-inflammatory cytokines (IFNγ, CXCR3, CXCL9, CXCL10, CXCL11, CCR5, CCL4, and CCL5) specific for a Th1 IFNγ-induced immune response. In addition, BIC/microRNA-155 (miR-155)-a microRNA involved in regulation of the immune response-was significantly upregulated in lichen sclerosus and lichen planus (9.5- and 17.7-fold change, respectively). Immunohistochemistry showed a significant T-cell response, with pronounced dermal infiltrates of CD4(+), CD8(+), and FOXP3(+) cells. In conclusion, these data demonstrate an autoimmune phenotype in vulvar lichen sclerosus and lichen planus, characterized by increased levels of Th1-specific cytokines, a dense T-cell infiltrate, and enhanced BIC/miR-155 expression.Journal of Investigative Dermatology advance online publication, 24 November 2011; doi:10.1038/jid.2011.369.
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Erasmus University Medical Center, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: The Journal of investigative dermatology
The molecular mechanism leading to the development of vulvar squamous cell carcinoma (VSCC) from vulvar lichen sclerosus (VLS) is unknown.
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Atrophy and shriveling of the SKIN of the VULVA that is characterized by the whitish LICHEN SCLEROSUS appearance, inflammation, and PRURITUS.
A chronic inflammatory mucocutaneous disease usually affecting the female genitalia (VULVAR LICHEN SCLEROSUS) and BALANITIS XEROTICA OBLITERANS in males. It is also called white spot disease and Csillag's disease.
Oral lesions accompanying cutaneous lichen planus or often occurring alone. The buccal mucosa, lips, gingivae, floor of the mouth, and palate are usually affected (in a descending order of frequency). Typically, oral lesions consist of radiating white or gray, velvety, threadlike lines, arranged in a reticular pattern, at the intersection of which there may be minute, white, elevated dots or streaks (Wickham's striae). (Jablonski, Illustrated Dictionary of Dentistry)
An oral retinoid used in the treatment of keratotic genodermatosis, lichen planus, and psoriasis. Beneficial effects have also been claimed in the prophylaxis of epithelial neoplasia. The compound may be teratogenic.
Conditions in which there is histological damage to the lower epidermis along with a grouped chronic inflammatory infiltrate in the papillary dermis disturbing the interface between the epidermis and dermis. LICHEN PLANUS is the prototype of all lichenoid eruptions. (From Rook et al., Textbook of Dermatology, 4th ed, p398)
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