Immuno-Histochemical and Quantitative Study of Melanocytes and Melanin Granules in Oral Epithelial Dysplasia ZC56-ZC58
Dr. Swapna Honwad,
Senior Lecturer, Department of Oral Patholology, Kmct Dental College, Mukkam-673602, Kerala, India.
Introduction: Oral Epithelial dysplasia (OED) is a potentially malignant disorder that is characterized by the presence of architectural and cytological changes. One of the prime factors responsible for the development of these lesions is the usage of tobacco. A variety of factors provide protective mechanism in order to prevent the effects of chemotoxic agents including tobacco products of which, melanin pigmentation is one of the vital elements.
Aim: Role of melanocytes in progression of OED has remained unclear, so the present study was done to evaluate density of melanocyte and melanin granules in different grades of epithelial dysplasia and to correlate both findings with different grades of epithelial dysplasia.
Materials and Methods: The study included 60 OED cases, of which three histopathogical sections were prepared from each block. The sections were stained with Hematoxylin and Eosin, Masson Fontana and Human Melanoma Black (HMB-45), an immunohistochemical stain. Quantification of melanin granules was evaluated under 40X magnification using arbitrary scale with micrometer square as, 0= Absence of melanin granules, 1= Rare and scattered melanin granules, 2= Dense but not aggregated melanin granules, 3= Dense and aggregated melanin granules. Density of melanocytes was evaluated under 10X magnification. Five consecutive fields were evaluated for melanocytes and melanin granules starting from the field of highest density.
Results: There was an insignificant increase in number of melanocytes and melanin granules in mild and moderate dysplasia compared to normal but significant reduction was observed in severe dysplasia.
Conclusion: The decrease in number of melanocytes and melanin granules was proportional to severity of epithelial dysplasia. This could be due to chronic irritation by chemical products leading to death of melanocytes.