Objective: To observe the expression patterns of salivary mRNA 21 in different stages and grades of OSMF and also in habitual arecanut chewers without OSMF.
Subjects and methods: The study consisted of a total of 185 samples, where 61 patients had chewing habits (chewing gutkha and other forms of arecanut) and had OSMF (Group 1). Sixty-one patients had chewing habits but did not have OSMF (Group 2), and 63 were normal healthy patients (control group) without any chewing habits (Group 3). Unstimulated saliva samples were collected from patients following the standard operating procedures. miRNA 21 was isolated and purified from saliva samples using the miRNeasy Mini Kit, Qiagen. The primers for miRNA relative quantification analysis were designed using the Primer Express software of Applied Biosystems. Quantification of all the samples was carried out using SYBR chemistry in an Applied Biosystems Real-Time PCR.
Results: There was no statistically significant difference between the demographic characteristics of patients. There was a statistically significant difference between the expressions of miRNA 21 amongst the three groups noted in Kruskal Wallis test. (<0.001*) A post hoc test was done to confirm the statistical difference between patients within all three groups. There was no statistically significant difference noted between the OSMF group and patients with chewing habits group (G1 vs. G2 p: 0.10), but there was a significant difference when compared with normal patients. (G1 vs G3 p: <0.001*) and (G2 vs G3 <0.001*)
Conclusion:This study concludes that miRNA 21 is overexpressed in OSMF and chewing habit patients. But the expression levels were not significantly associated with the severity of the disease process. A long term and large scale study are required to assess its application as a diagnostic profibrotic marker in OSMF.