The distribution of epithelial E-cadherin, basement membrane type VII collagen, and underlying connective tissues fibronectin were investigated immunohistochemically and compared in normal palatal mucosa and in denture-related stomatitis (DRS) derivatives using monoclonal antibodies.Biopsies of palatal mucosa were obtained from twelve patients enrolled in this study, 8 with type II DRS and 4 with healthy mucosa.
Our findings bring to the fore, using the expression of three components (E-cadherin, collagen type VII, fibronectin), the continuities of the disorder among epithelial, basement membrane and connective tissue in the case of DRS. In type II denture-related stomatitis, we found an expression of E-cadherinin all the strata of epithelia, and the diffuse and strong expression of type VII collagen at the interface between connective tissue and epithelial cells with discontinuities in BM. The strong expression of fibronectin in underlying connective tissue with penetration in some areas of the palatal mucosa may be an early consequence of advanced DRS. Nevertheless; no single change is pathognomonic of this inflammatory process.
In normal tissues (healthy clinical aspect), E-cadherin was found to be restricted to the upper strata of the epithelia, and type VII collagen revealed thin linear staining in the basement membrane and fibronectin in underlying connective tissue combined epithelia.
In the case of denture-related stomatitis DRS, these three markers reflect the immunohistological modifications from the superficial layer of the epithelium to the lamina propria.
Keywords: Denture-related stomatitis, E-cadherin, type VII collagen, fibronectin, Candida albicans infection.