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      Vitiligo: a review of the published work.

      The Journal of Dermatology
      Diagnosis, Differential, Humans, Prognosis, Stress, Psychological, psychology, Vitiligo, classification, epidemiology, etiology, pathology, therapy

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          Abstract

          Vitiligo is a common depigmenting skin disorder, characterized by acquired, idiopathic, progressive, circumscribed hypomelanosis of the skin and hair, with total absence of melanocytes microscopically. It occurs worldwide, with an incidence rate of between 0.1% and 2%. Vitiligo is an important skin disease having a major impact on the quality of life of the patient suffering from it. The causes of this condition are uncertain but seem to be dependent on the interaction of genetic, immunological and neurological factors. Vitiligo coexists with other autoimmune disorders, Sutton or halo nevus, and malignant melanoma. The substantial disfigurement associated with vitiligo can cause serious emotional stress for the patient, which necessitates treatment. Because its pathogenesis is still not understood, there is a plethora of different treatments. Among them, topical steroids and narrowband ultraviolet B monotherapy were the most common as current treatments for localized and generalized vitiligo, respectively. Cosmetic improvement can be achieved by camouflage products and self-tanning dyes. The course of vitiligo is unpredictable, but often progressive. Spontaneous repigmentation may occur in a few people (10–20%), mainly in children, but this tends to be only partial and on sun-exposed areas. In this article, we review vitiligo as a whole, including epidemiology, pathogenesis and etiology, histopathology, clinical manifestations, classification, clinical variants, diagnosis and differential diagnoses, specific investigation, treatment, prognosis, psychosocial view and its association with other disorders.

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          Epidemiology of vitiligo and associated autoimmune diseases in Caucasian probands and their families.

          Generalized vitiligo is an autoimmune disorder characterized by acquired white patches of skin and overlying hair, the result of loss of melanocytes from involved areas. The most common disorder of pigmentation, vitiligo occurs with a frequency of 0.1-2.0% in various populations. Family clustering of cases is not uncommon, in a non-Mendelian pattern suggestive of multifactorial, polygenic inheritance. We surveyed 2624 vitiligo probands from North America and the UK regarding clinical characteristics, familial involvement, and association with other autoimmune disorders, the largest such survey ever performed. More than 83% of probands were Caucasians, and the frequency of vitiligo appeared approximately equal in males and females. The frequency of vitiligo in probands' siblings was 6.1%, about 18 times the population frequency, suggesting a major genetic component in disease pathogenesis. Nevertheless, the concordance of vitiligo in monozygotic twins was only 23%, indicating that a non-genetic component also plays an important role. Probands with earlier disease onset tended to have more relatives affected with vitiligo, suggesting a greater genetic component in early onset families. The frequencies of six autoimmune disorders were significantly elevated in vitiligo probands and their first-degree relatives: vitiligo itself, autoimmune thyroid disease (particularly hypothyroidism), pernicious anaemia, Addison's disease, systemic lupus erythematosus, and probably inflammatory bowel disease. These associations indicate that vitiligo shares common genetic aetiologic links with these other autoimmune disorders. These results suggest that genomic analysis of families with generalized vitiligo and this specific constellation of associated autoimmune disorders will be important to identify the mechanisms of genetic susceptibility to autoimmunity.
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            High Frequency of Skin-homing Melanocyte-specific Cytotoxic T Lymphocytes in Autoimmune Vitiligo

            Vitiligo is an autoimmune condition characterized by loss of epidermal melanocytes. Using tetrameric complexes of human histocompatibility leukocyte antigen (HLA) class I to identify antigen-specific T cells ex vivo, we observed high frequencies of circulating MelanA-specific, A*0201-restricted cytotoxic T lymphocytes (A2–MelanA tetramer+ CTLs) in seven of nine HLA-A*0201–positive individuals with vitiligo. Isolated A2–MelanA tetramer+ CTLs were able to lyse A*0201-matched melanoma cells in vitro and their frequency ex vivo correlated with extent of disease. In contrast, no A2–MelanA tetramer+ CTL could be identified ex vivo in all four A*0201-negative vitiligo patients or five of six A*0201-positive asymptomatic controls. Finally, we observed that the A2–MelanA tetramer+ CTLs isolated from vitiligo patients expressed high levels of the skin homing receptor, cutaneous lymphocyte-associated antigen, which was absent from the CTLs seen in the single A*0201-positive normal control. These data are consistent with a role of skin-homing autoreactive melanocyte-specific CTLs in causing the destruction of melanocytes seen in autoimmune vitiligo. Lack of homing receptors on the surface of autoreactive CTLs could be a mechanism to control peripheral tolerance in vivo.
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              Evidence for an autoimmune pathogenesis of vitiligo.

              Vitiligo is a depigmenting disorder characterized by the development of white patches in various distributions, which are due to the loss of melanocytes from the epidermis. A variety of arguments from clinical observations to research findings in human and animal models support the hypothesis of autoimmunity and are reviewed in this article. The association with autoimmune diseases and organ-specific autoantibodies is well known. Various effective treatment options have an immunosuppressive effect. Today the autoimmune pathogenesis of the disease has become a rapidly evolving field of research. Detection of circulating melanocyte antibodies in human and animal models implicates a possible role of humoral immunity. Histological and immunohistochemical studies in perilesional skin suggest the involvement of cellular immunity in vitiligo. Recently, T-cell analyses in peripheral blood further support this hypothesis. Interestingly, new insights in the association of vitiligo and melanoma may help to clarify the role of autoimmunity in the development of vitiligo.
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