Immunoglobulin (Ig) G4-related disease (IgG4-RD) is a systemic disorder involving benign mass formation due to fibrosis and intense lymphoplasmacytosis; the chronic inflammation associated with the disease might also contribute to oncogenesis. Activation-induced cytidine deaminase (AID), normally expressed in germinal centre activated B-cells, is an enzyme that edits DNA/RNA and induces somatic hypermutation and Ig class switching. AID expression is strictly controlled under physiological conditions; however, chronic inflammation and some infectious agents induce its up-regulation. AID is overexpressed in various cancers and may be important in chronic inflammation-associated oncogenesis. We examined AID expression in IgG4-related sialadenitis (n = 14), sialolithiasis (non-specific inflammation, n = 13), and normal submandibular glands (n = 13) using immunohistochemistry and quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR). Immunohistochemistry revealed significantly more AID-expressing cells in IgG4-related sialadenitis than in sialolithiasis or normal submandibular gland samples (P = 0.02 and P < 0.01, respectively); qPCR yielded similar results. Thus, AID was significantly more up-regulated and had higher expression in extra-germinal centres in IgG4-RD than in non-specific inflammation or normal conditions. This report suggests that IgG4-RD has several specific causes of AID up-regulation in addition to inflammation. Furthermore, chronic inflammation-associated AID-mediated oncogenesis is possible in IgG4-RD.
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