Background: Antibodies to stratified epithelia characterize chronic ulcerative stomatitis, an entity that very closely resembles erosive lichen planus both clinically and histologically. These antibodies are directed against a 70-kd antigen. Objective: Our aim was to verify whether antibodies to stratified epithelia are present in patients with common lichen planus. Patients and methods: One hundred thirty-eight patients with various forms of lichen planus were studied. Indirect immunofluorescence was performed on both monkey esophagus and HEp2-2000 cells. Immunoblotting was done with cultured keratinocytes used as the source antigen. Results: Nineteen patients had antibodies to stratified epithelia (in 9 directed against an antigen of 70 kd). Forty-eight patients had circulating antibodies detected by indirect immunofluorescence on both monkey esophagus and HEp2-2000 cells (in 7 directed against an antigen of 70 kd). Indirect immunofluorescence was positive only on HEp2-2000 cells in 21 patients. Indirect immunofluorescence was negative in 50 patients on both HEp2-2000 cells and monkey esophagus. None of the last 71 patients had antibodies directed to an antigen of 70 kd. Limitations: This is a serological study; results from direct immunofluorescence studies would be interesting. Conclusion: Antibodies to stratified epithelia directed to an antigen of 70 kd are not exclusive to chronic ulcerative stomatitis, but are also present in some patients with lichen planus.
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