Lichen planus (LP) is a chronic mucocutaneous disease with unknown cause. Patients with LP often have both oral and genital lesions, but these conditions are often considered as separate diseases and treated accordingly. To find out which genes are differently expressed in mucosal LP compared to normal mucosa and establish whether oral and genital LP are in fact the same disease, whole genome expression analysis was performed on epithelium from 13 patients diagnosed with oral and/or genital LP and normal controls. For confirmation of keratin 4 and corneodesmosin expression, quantitative reverse-transcription PCR and immunohistochemistry were used. Many genes involved in epithelial development and differentiation are differently expressed in epithelium from LP compared to normal epithelium. Several of the differentially expressed genes are common for oral and genital LP and the same biological processes are altered which supports the fact that oral and genital LP are manifestations of the same disease. The change in gene expression indicates that differentiation is altered leading to changes in the epithelial barrier.
Danielsson, K., Coates, P. J., Ebrahimi, M., Nylander, E., Wahlin, Y-B., & Nylander, K. (2014). Genes involved in epithelial differentiation and development are differentially expressed in oral and genital lichen planus epithelium compared to normal epithelium. Acta Dermato-Venereologica, 94(5), 526-530. https://doi.org/10.2340/00015555-1803