Mast Cells and Angiogenesis in Oral Malignant and Premalignant Lesions

E.Z Michailidou, A.K Markopoulos*, D.Z Antoniades
Department of Oral Medicine and Maxillofacial Pathology, Aristotle University, Thessaloniki, Greece

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© Michailidou et al.; Licensee Bentham Open.

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* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Oral Medicine & Maxillofacial Pathology, School of Dentistry, Aristotle University, 54124 Thessaloniki, Greece; E-mail:


Mast cell contribution to neoangiogenesis during tumorigenesis in oral squamous cell carcinoma is not determined yet. Objectives: To associate numerical mast cell density (MCD) to numerical microvessel density (MVD) during the progression of oral leukoplakia without dysplasia and leukoplakia with dysplasia to squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC). Materials and methods: MVD was analysed immunohistochemically (mouse monoclonal anti-human CD34) in 49 paraffin-embedded specimens, 35 OSCCs, 9 leukoplakias and 5 normal oral tissues. Toluidine blue counterstaining revealed mast cells. MCD and MVD were assessed at the same optical field. Results: MVD increased between: normal oral mucosa, dysplasia (p=0.004), OSCC (p=0.001), leukoplakia and OSCC (p=0.041). MCD increased between: normal oral mucosa, dysplasia (p=0.003), OSCC (p=0.000), leukoplakia and OSCC (p=0.007). MVD was found to depend on MCD (p=0.000) in a percent 28.3% (power curve fit model). Conclusions: Mast cells are attracted at the lesion site and may turn on an angiogenic switch during tumorigenesis in OSCC.