TLR4 Expression in Ex-Lichenoid Lesions-Oral Squamous Cell Carcinomas and Its Surrounding Epithelium: The Role of Tumor Inflammatory Microenvironment
- Autori: Visioli, Fernanda; Nunes, Julia Silveira; Pedicillo, Maria Carmela; Leonardi, Rosalia; Santoro, Angela; Zannoni, Gian Franco; Aquino, Gabriella; Cerrone, Margherita; Cantile, Monica; Losito, Nunzia Simona; Rodolico, Vito; Campisi, Giuseppina; Colella, Giuseppe; De Stefano, Ilenia Sara; Ramunno, Maria Antonietta; Pizzulli, Cristina; Visconti, Marco; Lo Muzio, Lorenzo; Pannone, Giuseppe
- Anno di pubblicazione: 2022
- Tipologia: Articolo in rivista
- OA Link: http://hdl.handle.net/10447/569473
Toll-like receptors (TLRs) regulate innate and adaptive immune responses. Moreover, TLRs can induce a pro-survival and pro-proliferation response in tumor cells. This study aims to investigate the expression of TLR4 in the epithelium surrounding oral squamous cell carcinomas (OSCC) in relation to its inflammatory microenvironment. This study included 150 human samples: 30 normal oral control (NOC), 38 non-lichenoid epithelium surrounding OSCC (NLE-OSCC), 28 lichenoid epithelium surrounding OSCC (LE-OSCC), 30 OSCC ex-non oral lichenoid lesion (OSCC Ex-NOLL), and 24 OSCC ex-oral lichenoid lesion (OSCC Ex-OLL). TLR4 expression was investigated by immunohistochemistry and the percentage of positive cells was quantified. In addition, a semiquantitative analysis of staining intensity was performed. Immunohistochemical analysis revealed that TLR4 is strongly upregulated in LE-OSCC as compared to normal control epithelium and NLE-OSCC. TLR4 expression was associated with the inflammatory environment, since the percentage of positive cells increases from NOC and NLE-OSCC to LE-OSCC, reaching the highest value in OSCC Ex-OLL. TLR4 was detected in the basal third of the epithelium in NLE-OSCC, while in LE-OSCC, TLR4 expression reached the intermediate layer. These results demonstrated that an inflammatory microenvironment can upregulate TLR4, which may boost tumor development.