Introduction- Dental follicle and dentigerous cyst share common histopathological features. The present study was undertaken to evaluate and correlate the histopathological findings of the dental follicles with the dentigerous cyst and to compare the immunohistochemical expression of molecular markers bcl-2 and Ki-67 in dental follicles compared and dentigerous cyst. Materials & Methods- The study was carried out on 50 dental follicles obtained after surgical removal of impacted third molars and 10 archival tissue blocks of histopathologically confirmed cases of dentigerous cyst which were used as control. All the cases were examined histopathologically using routine haematoxylin and eosin staining (H & E) and special stains (PAS) for determining pathological changes in epithelial lining and connective tissue. Results- 14 out of 40 cases (35%) of dental follicle and 6 out of 10 cases (60%) of dentigerous cysts showed reduced enamel epithelial lining. 22 out of 40 cases of dental follicles and 4 out of 10 cases of dentigerous cysts showed squamous metaplasia. 8 out of 40 cases of dental follicles and 4 out of 10 cases of dentigerous cysts showed mucous prosoplasia. Squamous metaplasia was evident in 5 out of 14 cases of reduced enamel epithelium. Maximum number of cases showing dense collagenous type of connective tissue was present in generalized proliferating type of epithelium. 75% dental follicles had dense collagen connective tissue and 60% of dentigerous cysts had dental papillae type of connective tissue and plump shaped fibroblasts. The mean value (labeling index) of Ki-67 in positive cases of dental follicles (4.20±4.043). Strong staining was seen in 2 cases of reduced enamel epithelium, 10 cases of generalized proliferating epithelium. Conclusion- A simultaneous need to conduct studies based on clinical, histopathological immune-histochemical and genetic factors to elucidate the actual inherent potential of the dental follicles to develop pathologies.
Key words- Dental follicle, Dentigerous cyst, Squamous metaplasia