Background/purpose: MicroRNA (miRNA) alterations play important roles in the neoplastic process of oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC). Upregulation of miR-10b and miR-372 and downregulation of miR-375 are frequent events in OSCC. The aberrances of these miRNAs in oral potentially malignant lesions (OPMD) were studied to determine their status during the establishment of OSCC. Materials and methods: Cytobrushed sampling was used to collect epithelial cells from 11 OSCC and 34 OPMD lesions and matched normal mucosa. The expression levels of miR-10b, miR-372, and miR-375 were analyzed using quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction analysis. The clinical implications of these aberrances were further investigated. Results: Both miR-10b and miR-372 were upregulated in OPMD, but only miR-10b expression was upregulated in OSCC comparing to control. miR-375 was downregulated in OPMD and tended to be downregulated in OSCC. Dysplastic OPMD could be distinguished based on miR-372 expression level; miR-375 expression levels facilitated discrimination between OPMD and OSCC. The combined analysis of miR-375 and miR-372 remarkably enhanced the accuracy of differentiating OPMD from OSCC. Conclusion: Aberrant miR-10b. miR-372, and miR-375 expression occurs early during oral carcinogenesis. The detection of miR-372 and miR-375 expression using cytobrush samples may assist in differentiating between OPMD and OSCC.
- Oral carcinoma