Comparative Analysis of Mast Cell Density in Oral Epithelial Dysplasia and Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma
Keywords:Mast cell, Mast cell density, Dyspalsia, Oral squamous cell carcinoma,Toludine blue
Introduction: Oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) is one of the most common malignancies of the oral cavity. One
of the foremost cells recruited near the tumor front is the mast cells. Mast cells produce angiogenic mediators such
as fibroblast growth factor (FGF), transforming growth factor (TGF), tumor necrosis factor, (TNF), and the vascular
endothelial growth factor (VEGF) 1. which are increased in precancerous lesions and found in more abundance in
Accumulation of mast cells around the tumor margins and their release of potent pro-angiogenic and angiogenic
factors may represent a tumor-host interaction which probably favors tumor progression. The progression of oral
lesions from dysplasia to oral squamous cell carcinoma is characterized by an “angiogenic switch” that is associated
with an increase in the neovascularization of the subepithelial lamina propria, which may be considered an indicator
of malignant transformation. 2
MCs also represent a rich source of proteases, especially ofmast cell tryptase and chymase, which directly degrade
the extracellularmatrix through their proteolytic activity and thus indirectly stimulate angiogenesis and facilitate
invasion and metastasis. Theliterature has proven that mast cells can be an indicator of increased angiogenesis and
hence can help in the prediction of carcinogenesis, its progression, and also the prognosis of the malignant lesions.
Aim of the Study: To compare the number, morphology, and distribution of mast cells in different grades of oral
epithelial dysplasia (OED) and oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) and to study their role in tumor growth and
Materials and Methods: A total of 39 cases, which included 13 cases of dysplasia and 26 of OSCC were included
in the study. Tissue sections were stained with H&E and 1% toluidine blue was used to evaluate mast cells. Mast
cells were counted manually using an ocular grid throughout the tissue sections in 10 representative grid fields in
a stepladder fashion. (40x magnification).The mean mast cell density (MCD) of 10 fields was calculated and was
expressed as mean (standard deviation) per mm3,4. Mast cells were then categorized as typical, atypical, or granular
mast cells and statistically analyzed.5
Result: In the present study, there is a decrease in the number of mast cells with severe grades of dysplasia and poorer
grades of oral squamous cell carcinoma.
Mast cells may induce the tumor progression by
providing a mitogenic stimulation or angiogenesis-the
hallmark of the tumor growth and metastasis through the
release of various mediators.
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