Immunohistochemical study on expression of α-defensin and β-defensin-2 in human buccal epithelia with candidiasis

K. Sawaki, N. Mizukawa, T. Yamaai, J. Fukunaga, T. Sugahara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


OBJECTIVES AND DESIGN: It has been previously reported that α-defensin (HNPs) and β-defensin-2 (HBD-2) peptides with antifungal and cytotoxic activities can be detected in oral carcinomas and the saliva of patients with oral carcinomas. The present study investigated the presence of HNPs and HBD-2 in oral epithelia with candidiasis. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Tissue sections (4 μm) were prepared from biopsy and surgically removed specimens diagnosed as oral candidiasis (n=10). The sections were examined immunohistochemically with antibodies directed against HNPs and HBD-2. RESULTS: Tissue sections of oral candidiasis were immunostained with antidefensin antibodies. Neutrophils in the inflamed lamina propria were positively immunostained with anti-HNPs antibody. The cytoplasm of cells in the upper spinous layer, in the lower spinous layer and in the parakeratinized layer of buccal epithelia with candidiasis was immunostained intensely with anti-HBD-2 antibody. In contrast, the expression of HBD-2 in the normal spinous layer was much weaker than that in oral candidiasis. No signals of HNPs were found in normal buccal epithelium. CONCLUSION: Buccal specimens from individuals with oral candidiasis show greater levels of expression of both HNPs and HBD-2. There might be a dual protection manner by defensins against fungal inflammation in infected buccal epithelia locally. Generally, HBD-2 signals have been found everywhere in the buccal epithelium; however, in an infected area, the signal intensity of HBD-2 has increased. HNPs signals have not been found in the normal buccal epithelium; however, HNPs signals have increased when the infection occurred.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-41
Number of pages5
JournalOral Diseases
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2002


  • Candidiasis
  • α-defensins (HNPs)
  • β-defensin-2 (HBD-2)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Dentistry(all)


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