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Autoimmun Rev. 2006 Aug;5(7):486-92. Epub 2006 May 6.

Therapeutic implications of autoimmune vitiligo T cells.

Author information

  • 1Department of Pathology/Oncology Institute, Loyola University Chicago, 2160 South First Ave, Bldg 112, Rm 203, Maywood, IL 60153, USA.

Abstract

Vitiligo is an autoimmune disease presenting with progressive loss of skin pigmentation. The disease strikes 1% of the world population, generally during teenage years. The progressive loss of melanocytes from depigmenting vitiligo skin is accompanied by cellular infiltrates containing both CD4+ and CD8+ T lymphocytes. Infiltrating cytotoxic T cells with high affinity T cell receptors have likely escaped clonal deletion in the thymus, allowing such T cells to enter the circulation. Through the expression of CLA, these T cells home to the skin where they express type 1-cytokine profiles and mediate melanocyte apoptosis via the granzyme/perforin pathway. T cells found juxtapositionally apposed to remaining melanocytes can be isolated from the skin. Vitiligo T cells have demonstrated reactivity to antigens previously recognized as target antigens for T cells infiltrating melanoma tumors. In a comparison to existing melanoma-derived T cells, vitiligo T cells displayed superior reactivity towards melanoma cells. It is thought that genes encoding the TCRs expressed by vitiligo skin infiltrating T cells can be cloned and expressed in melanoma T cells, thereby generating a pool of circulating T cells with high affinity for their targets that can re-direct the immune response towards the tumor.

PMID:
16920575
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3462656
Free PMC Article

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