Oral health and pathology: a macrophage account.
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Macrophages are present in healthy oral mucosa and their numbers increase dramatically during disease. They can exhibit a diverse range of phenotypes characterised as a functional spectrum from pro-inflammatory to anti-inflammatory (regulatory) subsets. This review illustrates the role of these subsets in the oral inflammatory disease lichen planus, and the immunosuppressive disease oral squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). We conclude that the role of macrophages in driving progression in oral disease identifies them as potential therapeutic targets for a range of oral pathologies.
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