[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
June 1978

Recurrent Aphthous Stomatitis: An Immunofluorescence Study

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Oral Pathology (Dr Gorlin) and the Department of Dermatology, University Hospitals, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis.

Arch Dermatol. 1978;114(6):955-956. doi:10.1001/archderm.1978.01640180087025

Cell-mediated immunity to oral mucosa has been demonstrated in patients with recurrent aphthous stomatitis (RAS).1 Lymphocytes from patients with RAS are toxic to normal oral epithelial cells in tissue culture.2,3 Humoral antibodies to oral mucosa have been demonstrated in the serum as well as fixed in vivo in the cytoplasm of oral epithelial cells.4,5

In this study, aphthae from patients with RAS were examined for deposits of immunoglobulins and complement by immunofluorescence microscopy.

Materials and Methods  Biopsy specimens of aphthae were obtained from ten consecutive patients with RAS. Eight patients had the simple form of RAS that heals without leaving scars, while two had the cicatricial form of RAS. Biopsy specimens from uninvolved oral mucosa were obtained from four patients.The biopsy specimens were examined for deposits of IgG, IgM, IgA, complement C3, and fibrinogen by direct immunofluorescence microscopy.Fig 1.—Deposits of complement C3 in vessel wall