Immunohistochemical expression of Cyclooxygenase 2 reflects the proliferative activity in the epithelium of odontogenic lesions

Vani Verma, Chetana Chandrashekar, Raghu Radhakrishnan, Monica Charlotte Solomon


Purpose:  Odontogenic cysts and tumors comprise a major component of lesions of the oral and maxillofacial region. The pathogenesis of these lesions involves the interaction between the odontogenic epithelium and the ectomesenchyme. However, the clinical behavior of these biological entities is unpredictable. The aim of this study was to evaluate the role of Cyclooxygenase 2 (COX-2) in the pathogenesis and prognostication of odontogenic lesions.

Material and method:  : In this study formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissue section of Odontogenic Keratocyst (n=10) Dentigerous cyst (n=10), Radicular cyst (n=10) and unicystic ameloblastoma (n=10) were immunohistochemically stained with COX-2 (NCL2-COX-2- 4H12) and with Ki 67 (Ki-67 GM001) using standard staining protocols. The cytoplasmic expression of COX-2 in all the lesions was semi-quantitatively assessed. The pattern of expression of COX-2 among the different odontogenic lesions was statistical analyzed using the ANOVA test and the chi-square test.

Results: All the 40 odontogenic lesions that were evaluated expressed COX-2 immunohistochemically. A high number of odontogenic epithelial cells expressed COX-2 in most of the odontogenic keratocyst, radicular cyst and unicystic ameloblastomas. The expression of COX-2 was significantly (p=0.036) higher in Unicystic Ameloblastomas and Radicular cyst compared to that of Odontogenic Keratocyst and the dentigerous cyst.

Conclusion: The recognition that expression of COX-2 by odontogenic epithelial cells may indeed shed a new light on the biological mechanisms involved in the development of these benign yet aggressive lesions of the jaws. An insight into the molecular interactions occurring in the odontogenic epithelium will aid in better management of these lesions.



Cysts; COX-2; aggressive; inflammatory; prognosis

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