STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM Peripheral and central giant cell granuloma are two common benign lesions of the oral cavity. In spite of histopathological similarities, they have different clinical behaviors. Cathepsin D is a lysosomal enzyme which has different functions on the basis of protein and applied peptide cleavage. PURPOSE This research aimed to evaluate and compare the expression level of Cathepsin D in these two lesions to find the reasons for the differences in clinical and biologic characteristics. MATERIALS AND METHOD The expression of Cathepsin D was investigated by using the immunohistochemistry method in 20 samples of peripheral giant cell granuloma and 20 samples of central giant cell granuloma. The percentage of stained giant cells (labeling index), the intensity of staining of giant cells, and staining-intensity-distribution in both groups were calculated and compared. RESULTS The labeling indices of Cathepsin D in peripheral giant cell granuloma and central giant cell granuloma were 95.9±4.03 and 95.6±2.34, respectively. There was no significant difference in the percentages of stained giant cells between the two groups (p= 0.586). The intensity of staining of giant cells in central giant cell granuloma was stronger than that of peripheral giant cell granuloma (p> 0.001). Staining- intensity- distribution of giant cells in central giant cell granuloma was significantly greater than that of the peripheral type of lesion (p= 0.001). CONCLUSION The higher expression level of Cathepsin D in central giant cell granuloma compared to peripheral type of lesion can explain more aggressive behavior of central giant cell granuloma.