Langerhans cells in vulvar lichen sclerosus and vulvar squamous cell carcinoma
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Introduction: Langerhans cells (LCs), specializing in antigen presentation, are a very important part of the skin immune system (SIS). Materials and Methods: Skin biopsies from 22 women with vulvar lichen sclerosus (LS): 15 patients with early and 7 with the late stage of the disease, were evaluated. Five women with vulvar squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) were also examined. The control group consisted of 9 women who underwent plastic surgery of the vulvar region. Immunohistochemical staining was performed on formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissues samples using antihuman CD1a antibody (NCL-CD1a-235, Novocastra). Results: Increased numbers of LC stainings were present in early LS, whereas decreased numbers of these cells were present in late LS and in SCC compared with the control group. Conclusions: This study showed that dysregulation of the SIS may lead to suppression of LCs in the vulvar epithelium and may be one of the reasons for a higher tendency for carcinogenesis in the vulvar region.
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H. Rotsztejn, Dermatology Section of the Polish Mother?s Memorial Hospital, 93-338 Lodz, Rzgowska 281/289, Poland