Vol 95, No 3 (2024)
Research paper
Published online: 2023-11-15

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Collagen and elastin differences in vulvar tissue of women with lichen planus, lichen sclerosus and healthy women

Adrianna Marzec1, Aleksandra Augusciak-Duma2, Dominika Lubik-Lejawka1, Anita Olejek1, Iwona Gabriel1
Pubmed: 37994812
Ginekol Pol 2024;95(3):171-174.


Objectives: Lichen sclerosus and lichen planus are two debilitating dermatoses. Their etiology remains unknown. Skin changes resulting from these disorders are important to understand, so we can provide targeted treatment to patients.

We examined the differences in collagen (COL1A1, COL1A2, COL3A1, COL5A1, COL5A2, COL5A3) and elastin (ELN) expression between vulvar tissue of women with lichen planus, lichen sclerosus and healthy women.

Material and methods: Vulvar tissue was taken from areas affected by lichen planus or lichen sclerosus. In healthy controls, we biopsied vulva at five and eight o’clock in a standardized manner. The tissue was simultaneously sent for pathological and genetic analysis. When either lichen planus or sclerosus or healthy tissue was confirmed by pathologist, we processed the genetic sample. RNA was isolated, transcribed and gene expression was analyzed using Real Time Custom Panel 96-16 and LightCycler 480 Probe Master. Kolmogorov-Smirnov test was employed to determine if the data on the population show normal distribution. For genes with normal distribution, t-Test was employed and for those lacking normality, we used Mann-Whitney 1-tail test. The threshold for p-value was set less than 0.05.

Results: Thirty-nine vulvar samples were examined. The mean expression of COL1A1 was 11.13, COL1A2 was 6.72, COL3A1 was 8.43, COL5A1 was 11.91, COL5A2 was 10.62 and COL5A3 was 12.79. The mean expression of elastin (ELN) was 13,13. We found statistically significant difference in expression of collagen (COL1A2) and elastin (ELN) between healthy controls and patients with lichen planus (p = 0.4). We did not find differences for other genes (p < 0.05).

Conclusions: Collagen and elastin are differentially expressed between patients with lichen planus and healthy controls.

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