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Int J Immunopathol Pharmacol. 2012 Jan-Mar;25(1):1-7.

Neuro-immuno-endocrine processes in vitiligo pathogenesis.


Vitiligo is a cutaneous disorder of depigmentation, clinically characterized by well-demarcated, white macules of varying size and distribution. It can affect up to 2 percent of the population, especially younger ages. In spite of recent findings implicating genetic, immune and oxidative stress factors, the exact pathogenesis of vitiligo remains obscure. Here, we briefly discuss the prevailing theories, and offer new suggestions that could explain in part the damage of melanocyte in the vitiliginous lesions. Our emerging hypothesis is that neuropeptides released from peripheral nerve endings could synergize with new cytokines to adversely affect melanocyte function and viability. These may include corticotropin- releasing hormone (CRH) and neurotensin (NT), as well as interleukin 33 (IL-33) and thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP). Such interactions could serve the basis for further research, possibly leading to new treatments.

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