Open Access Peer-reviewed

Serum Glutathione Levels in Oral Leukoplakia and Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma- A Clinicopathological Study

Shishir Ram Shetty1,, Subhas Babu1, Suchetha Kumari2, Pushparaja Shetty3, Vijay R4, Arvind Karikal1

1Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology, AB Shetty memorial Institute of Dental Science, Nitte University, Mangalore, India

2Department of Biochemistry, KS Hegde Medical Academy, Nitte University, Mangalore, India

3Department of Oral Pathology, AB Shetty memorial Institute of Dental Science, Nitte University, Mangalore, India

4Central research laboratory, Nitte University, Mangalore, India

American Journal of Cancer Prevention. 2013, 1(1), 1-3. DOI: 10.12691/ajcp-1-1-1
Published online: August 25, 2017


Oral cancer accounts for the majority of the cancer in South East Asian region and especially in the Indian subcontinent. If diagnosed at an early stage the disease is reported to have a better prognosis. Recently studies have been conducted to determine the levels of serum antioxidants for risk assessment of oral cancer. The aim of this study was to estimate the levels of glutathione in serum of patients with oral cancer, oral leukoplakia and healthy controls. Three study groups comprising of, 25 oral cancer patients, 25 oral leukoplakia patients and 25 healthy controls were involved in the study. Serum sample collected from the patients by venipuncture were evaluated by Beutler's method. The data obtained were analyzed using the one way ANOVA test. There was a significant difference between the levels of serum glutathione in between oral cancer, oral leukoplakia groups when compared to healthy controls. The levels of serum glutathione were lower in oral cancer when compared to oral leukoplakia but the difference was not statistically significant. The results suggest that serum glutathione level estimation could be used to determine the risk of oral cancer.


serum, glutathione, oral cancer, leukoplakia
[1]  Parkin DM, Pisani P, Ferlay J. Estimates of worldwide incidence of 25 major cancers in 1990. Int J Cancer. 1999; 80:827-841.View Article
[2]  Hirshberg A, Calderon S, Kaplan I. Update review on prevention and early diagnosis in oral cancer. Refuat Hapeh Vehashinayim. 2002;19(3):38-48, 89. PubMed
[3]  Almadori G, Bussu F, Galli J, Limongelli A, Persichilli S, Zappacosta B, Angelo Minucci A, Paludetti G, Giardina B. Salivary glutathione and uric acid levels in patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. Head Neck 29: 648-654, 2007.View Article  PubMed
[4]  Marnett LJ. Oxyradicals and DNA damage. Carcinogenesis 2000;21:361-370.View Article  PubMed
[5]  Bathi RJ, Rao R, Muthalik. GST null phenotype and antioxidants; risk indicators for oral precancer and cancer. Indian J Dent Res; 20(3): 298-302. PubMed
[6]  Hayes JD, McLellan LI. Glutathione and glutathione-dependent enzymes represent a co-ordinately regulated defence against oxidative stress. Free Radic Res 1999;31 :273-300.View Article  PubMed
[7]  Pompella A, Visvikis A, Paolicchi A, De Tata V, Casini AF. The changing faces of glutathione, a cellular protagonist. Biochem Pharmacol 2003;66:1499-1503.View Article
[8]  Pastore A, Federici G, Bertini E, Piemonte F. Analysis of glutathione: implication in redox and detoxification. Clin Chim Acta 2003;333:19-39.View Article
[9]  Öztürk LK, Furuncuoglu H, Atala MH, Uluköylü O, Akyüz S, Yarat A. Association between dental-oral health in young adults and salivary glutathione,lipid peroxidation and sialic acid levels and carbonic anhydrase activity Braz J Med Biol Res, 2008; 41: 956-95. PubMed
[10]  Gümüş P, Buduneli N, Çetinkalp S, Hawkins SI, Renaud D, Kinane DF, Scott DA Salivary Antioxidants in Patients With Type 1 or 2 Diabetes and Inflammatory Periodontal Disease: A Case-Control Study. J Periodontol, 2009; 80(9):1440-1446.View Article  PubMed
[11]  Beutler E. Glutathione in red blood cell metabolism. In: Beutler E (Editor), A manual of biochemical methods. 2nd edn. New York: Grune and Stratton; 1975. p 112-114.
[12]  Locigno R, Castronovo V: Reduced glutathione system: role in cancerdevelopment, prevention and treatment (review). Int J Oncol 2001; 19: 221-236. PubMed
[13]  Sies H. Glutathione and its role in cellular functions. Free Radic Biol Med 1999; 27: 916-921.View Article
[14]  Trickler D, Shklar G, and Schwartz J: Inhibition of oral carcinogenesis by glutathione. Nutr Cancer 1993; 20: 139-144.View Article  PubMed
[15]  Schwartz JL and Shklar G: Glutathione inhibits experimental oral carcinogenesis, p53 expression, and angiogenesis. Nutr Cancer 1996; 26: 229-236.View Article  PubMed
[16]  Hamilos DL and Wedner HJ: The role of glutathione in lymphocyte activation: comparison of inhibitory effects of buthionine sulfoximine and 2-cyclohexene-1 one by nuclear size transformation. J Immunol 1985; 135: 2740-2747. PubMed
[17]  Wu G, Fang YZ, Yang S, Lupton JR, and Turner ND: Glutathione metabolism and its implications for health. J Nutr 2004; 134: 489-492. PubMed
[18]  Richie JP, Kleinman W, Marina P, Abraham P, Wynder EL, Muscat JE. Blood Iron, Glutathione, and Micronutrient Levels and the Risk of Oral Cancer. Nutr Cancer 2008; 60: 474-482.View Article  PubMed
[19]  Manoharan S, Kolanjiappan K, Suresh K, Panjamurthy K. Lipid peroxidation & antioxidants status in patients with oral squamous cell carcinoma. Indian J Med Res 2005; 122: 529-534. PubMed
[20]  Sathishkumar T, Shanmugam S, Rameshkumar S, Rajavelan G, Haridoss. Characterization of Salivary Glutathione reductase in Normal Individuals and its Implications on Smokers. Researcher 2010; 2: 74-81.