Normal oral mucosa is often used as a control material when studying angiogenesis. However, it is not known whether there is regional variation in vascularity within the oral cavity or indeed between keratinised and non-keratinised mucosa. Therefore our aim was to compare vascularity between anatomical sites to determine if such variation should be taken into account when using normal mucosa as a control for the investigation of pathological neoangiogenesis.
Materials and Methods:
The angiogenic profile of frozen sections from four oral sites was assessed in 30 post mortem cadavers. Blood vessels were identified immunohistochemically using four antibodies and quantified by two methods.
No difference was found between keratinised and non-keratinised oral mucosa. Use of alcohol was associated with an increase in vasculature and tobacco use was associated with a decrease (3 using a-MVD). vWF and CD-31 were consistently associated with higher values.
High risk sites for oral cancer in the United Kingdom did not display increased angiogenic profiles. Neither age nor gender affected the vascular count. Whilst there was no difference between keratinised and non-keratinised sites, due to regional variation in vasculature, it is recommended that controls should be taken from the same oral site as the lesional material.
angiogenesis, oral mucosa, vasculature, site variation