Background: Interleukin 10 (IL-10) is a powerful anti-inflammatory cytokine capable
of preventing inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. Oral lichen planus (OLP) is an autoimmune,
chronic, inflammatory disease with relapsing nature involving oral mucous membranes. It was prevsiouly
assumed that like other autoimmune diseases, IL-10 may have a role in OLP pathogenesis,
and many studies focused on that. But there are obvious controversies among IL-10 levels in OLP
Objective: In this review with Meta-Analysis, we attempt to assess IL-10 expression in OLP patients.
Methods: The search was conducted via Pubmed, Ovid, and Google Scholar, to identify articles
published up to Jun 2020. A meta-Analysis by Revman 5.3 was conducted based on serum levels
of IL-10 in 313 OLPs and 203 controls.
Results: With Meta-Analysis in 313 OLPs and 203 controls, the Mean difference between IL-10 in
OLPs and controls was obtained as 0.26 (95% CI: -0.51-1.03), demonstrating no statistically significant
Conclusion: IL-10, in concert with its receptors, has a crucial role in the pathogenesis of various
diseases, including inflammatory, infectious, and autoimmune diseases. Both over-expression, as
well as IL-10 deficiency, have been described in oral lichen planus. With Meta-Analysis on serum
IL-10 levels, it is speculated that no significant relationship exists between IL-10 and OLP pathogenesis.
With respect to the importance of cytokines in the autoimmunity process, performing additional
studies is of necessity to understand the association of other cytokines with OLP predisposition
and its underlying pathological processes.