Expression of the stem cell factor in fibroblasts, endothelial cells, and macrophages in periapical tissues in human chronic periapical diseases.
Stem cell factor (SCF), an important stem cell cytokine, has multiple functions. Fibroblasts (FBs), mature mast cells, endothelial cells (ECs), and eosinophil granulocytes can produce SCF in the inflammatory process. Therefore, we aimed to observe SCF expression in FBs, ECs, and macrophages (MPs) in periapical tissues in human chronic periapical disease and investigate the effects of cells expressing SCF in pathogenesis of the disease. Healthy (N = 20), periapical cyst (N = 15), and periapical granuloma (N = 15) tissues were fixed in 10% formalin for 48 h, embedded in paraffin, and stained with hematoxylin and eosin to observe histological changes. SCF expression was observed in FBs, ECs, and MPs in periapical tissues by double immunofluorescence. CD334, CD31, and CD14 are specific markers of FBs, ECs, and MPs, respectively. Results showed that densities of CD334-SCF double-positive FBs, CD31-SCF double-positive ECs, and CD14-SCF double-positive MPs were significantly increased in periapical tissue groups (P < 0.01). There were no significant differences in CD334-SCF double-positive FB and CD31-SCF double-positive EC levels between the two periapical tissue groups (P > 0.05). CD14-SCF double-positive MP density was considerably higher in periapical granulomas than in cysts (P < 0.01). FB, EC, and MP levels were significantly high and densities of CD334-SCF double-positive FBs, CD31-SCF double-positive ECs, and CD14-SCF double-positive MPs improved considerably in chronic periapical tissues, suggesting that the cells might be related to occurrence, development, and pathogenesis of chronic periapical disease.