Background: Sjogren's syndrome is an autoimmune disease characterized by xerostomia and keratoconjunctivitis sicca. The relationship between xero-stomia and proliferative activity in human gingival epithelium is not known. Proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) is a nuclear protein associated with the cell cycle. Nuclear PCNA immunoreactivity is found in the proliferative compartment of normal tissues. The aims of this study were to evaluate PCNA expression in oral gingival epithelium of healthy and inflamed gingiva obtained from patients with Sjogren's syndrome, and to compare the results to age- and gender-matched subjects with normal salivary function.